In London? Have you space for a Bike Hub?
The Bike Project's mission is simple: to get refugees cycling!
Transport in London can be expensive. This is especially true for a refugee going through the asylum process. Having fled persecution and atrocity in their country of origin, they are forced to live on a mere £36 a week in benefits, and prevented from finding employment. A bike can help these people reach the many resources that London has to offer: charities that can feed them, lawyers that can aid their application process, home office appointments, healthcare, education and much more. If they are lucky enough to receive status, a bike can help them find employment.
The Bike Project is a community of refugees, mechanics and volunteers. They receive donations of second-hand bikes, fix them together at their workshop, and then donate them to asylum-seeking refugees.
A small proportion of the bikes that they receive are sold through The Bike Shop to generate funds, the proceeds of which support The Bike Project, which ensures their long term sustainability.
By attending their workshop and helping to fix their own bike, all beneficiaries get actively involved in the process as much as possible. This enables them to learn basic bike maintenance and form long-term supportive relationships. They also run a separate project where they teach refugee women to cycle. They teach cycling proficiency, in an all-female environment, to complete beginners. The lessons run once a week, for ten weeks, and all participants are given a bike at the end.
So that people further afield can donate, they rely on Bike Hubs that collect a few bikes at a time. They have 3 hubs already. They are desperate for more.
All they need is secure space for at least 10 bikes and somebody to contact them about the donations i.e. bikes given in to that hub.
Is this something your church can do?
Here is a blog with comments from existing hubs on their experience.
There is a toolkit here which tells you a lot more about a hub and who to contact.
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Geoff Knott, 06/02/2017