In a world of working from home, it can be hard to maintain connection and comradery in the workplace. As the weather gets warmer, bring your colleagues back together for a shared goal: supporting refugees! Sign up to Refugee Routes!
Adrian is one of our Challenge Champions who took on Refugee Routes as part of his wife’s work team. Adrian cycled a spoke-tacular 1,036 miles and raised £1,060 – funding 10 bikes and kits for refugees and asylum seekers.
We had a chat with Adrian about his Refugee Routes experience in his team ‘RedStart Law’:
It’s good for refugees, good for workplace team building and good for individuals.
Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Adrian and I live in Wiltshire with my wife, two kids, 3 dogs and a hamster. I work in sustainability and also volunteer for a charity that helps people who are in fuel poverty. I am a general fitness person and enjoy running, cycling, squash and walking but none to any silly fitness level, just all for fun and because it supports my mental health.
What is your favourite thing about cycling?
The freedom. I love just heading out on an unplanned exploration and seeing where I end up. While cycling, my mind can just wander and process things quietly as the scenery passes by.
When and how did you hear about The Bike Project?
My wife is a human rights immigration lawyer and she passed the details of The Bike Project to me when the Afghanistan situation escalated.
What drew you to fundraising for The Bike Project?
My wife has dedicated her life to helping people and there was no way I could not do the ride and raise as much as I could for such a brilliant cause.
How was your Refugee Routes experience?
Excellent. I had frequent contact with a team member who helped with a few website questions at the start and then they kept me motivated as I added the miles. I really appreciated the updates that told us where I had reached location wise on the real refugee route.
Can you tell us about your team?
Our team was “Redstart Law” which is my wife’s immigration business. The cyclists were myself and Andy, with both of us working to achieve the 918 miles as if we were both riding the refugee route together.
How did you pick which Refugee Route to do?
We looked at the options and went for the longest which was the 918 mile route from Damascus, Syria to Izmir, Turkey. I had planned to complete the route in 9 weeks of cycling but unfortunately it took a few weeks longer due to a stomach bug which floored me for a few weeks. But knowing I had to complete the mileage got me back on the bike as soon as I could
What was your favourite ride?
I finished the mileage in Italy where I was on holiday so my favourite route was definitely in the Alps in Piemonte, Northern Italy.
Is there a memory that sticks out in the 1,000 miles?
Meeting a goat friend who loved a good ear tickle. It sticks in my mind because he left a pretty strong goaty smell on my cycling gloves that took about 3 washes to get out.
Did you learn anything new?
That when I have a defined goal with a defined timeline, I am much more dedicated to delivering on it. The fact that people had sponsored me really drove me on.
Why should workplaces take part in Refugee Routes?
Because it’s good for refugees, good for workplace team building and good for individuals.
What are your fundraising top tips?
Not sure I have top tips but my approach was to start with my close family to get some fundraising underway. Then I went to close work colleagues, then wider on social media to wider friends and family.
Why do you support refugees?
Because refugees are just people like me and as Ukraine is showing us, we could all be refugees at any time whether it be war, climate migration or any other factor out of our control.
In a perfect world, how would you like to see refugees being supported in the UK?
Integration of refugees into communities, with the support this provides, is the key. This is why something as simple as a bike is such a help.
Thanks for all your support Adrian and chatting with us!
Find out more about the challenge and sign up today: