Common Wheel: How Building Bikes Changed my Life

Posted by Katie Wright / 29/08/2014

Mandy runs a busy T-shirt printing business from her home in Glasgow. It is hard to imagine how this bright, cheery and positive woman, with a love of punk rock, was a self proclaimed ‘recluse’ until fairly recently.

For eight years Mandy has experienced symptoms of depression and social anxiety. She became very isolated once she found she was unable to work. Six months ago Mandy’s Occupational Therapist suggested Mandy joined Common Wheel, a mental health organisation based in Glasgow. Common Wheel provides a supportive environment where people can take part in activities that they enjoy, specifically bike maintenance and music workshops. People are given the opportunity to learn new skills, establish a weekly routine, reduce isolation, gain confidence, and develop many other life skills.


Common Wheel has bike workshops in Maryhill and Bridgeton. Mandy joined the project based in Bridgeton and started work with John, Bridgeton’s Bike Engineer. She learnt how to strip down an old bike from the local tip and rebuilt it into a ‘good as new’ bike for herself.

  Mandy said: “Common Wheel was a real life saver – it gave me something to focus on. I hadn’t worked for eight years, this wasn’t me.

Over the years Mandy had been trying to get her own business off the ground, but her mental health prevented her from doing so.

“John really supported me in starting the business; he helped me find my confidence and belief in myself”.

As well as supporting people with mental illness, Common Wheel’s bike workshops can service and repair your bike. You can also buy a reconditioned bike or ask us to build one to your specification.  Please contact one of our workshops to find out more.


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