Riding into a better future with Refugee Routes

Danny volunteering in workshop

Cycling has never been more popular. And the riders taking part in our Refugee Routes cycling challenge have gone from strength to strength! 

We've had riders ride distances as short as 50 miles to a whopping 918 miles. Along the way, each rider has been busy raising crucial funds to support our charity. 

Fundraising is absolutely vital to ensure we have a steady flow of bikes, to keep our operations running and to help purchase the additional kit we donate to refugees, including bike helmets, hi-viz jackets, locks and a small toolkit to make any adjustments. 

Today we want to tell you a little more about Danny, who received a bike from us, and Jem, our founder. Both are taking part in Refugee Routes and are cycling an incredible 2,855 miles! 

Danny and Jem

Danny, a refugee, received a bike from us and is now riding Refugee Routes to raise money, alongside our founder Jem. 

Since I got to The Bike Project to get a bike, I've used it for everything. Cycling has helped me psychologically, it’s good for my health, it’s a free way of getting around. I love cycling so much. The Bike Project is everything for me in the UK. It’s my family now. 

Danny, our most dedicated volunteer and friend, is cycling the distance to Guinea-Bissau with our founder Jem, as part of our amazing Refugee Routes challenge. This is an epic journey of 2,855 miles, which they're aiming to complete in under three months. 

Danny (not his real name) grew up in Guinnea-Bissau. Age 18, he was required to join the army. After rising up the ranks, he became a captain. But sadly, following a coup, many officers were arrested, including Danny. During the following imprisonment, he was tortured, In 2008, he managed to escape and claim asylum in London. Danny hasn't seen his wife or children since 2008.

Danny and Jem are cycling the full distance to Guinea-Bissau in solidarity with all refugees while raising funds. Danny himself received a bike from us, and has since spent countless days volunteering both in our workshop and office. And he even took part in Ride London 2019. 

Danny in Ride London 2019

Danny's story isn't unique. Refugees seeking safety from dangerous and unsafe living conditions are given only a nominal amount to live on. But living on £37.75 a week has never been easy, and only serves to become more difficult he longer a claim takes to get processed.

Last year we donated over 1600 bikes refugees. This year, we continued delivering bikes throughout lockdown. With our new process of delivering bikes straight to refugees' homes, we've ensured the safety of both our staff and of the refugees we are supporting. 

But this of course has increased our costs. Our amazing fundraisers have smashed their cycling goals, resulting in an incredible £10,000 raised! This will go so far to supporting refugees.

We'd love for you to read more about these amazing riders and their challenges, so hit the button above to get stuck in. And maybe you'll be inspired to sign up! 

Written on: 26 Aug 2020 | Author: Muna Hussen

OUR STORIES

A fine selection of tales from the workshop floor, including refugee stories, inspirational volunteer chronicles – and the occasional shameless cry for help. View all news

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