Bikes for refugees

Bikes for refugees

By Col

For many of us we are lucky to be able to jump on a bike and find that feeling of freedom it offers. However for some, they just don't have that opportunity. Bikes for Refugees (Scotland) provides freedom of movement and a free means of travel to New Scots (refugees and asylum seekers) through the distribution of free bikes and Welcome Packs. Bikes are donated by communities and refurbished by volunteers. To-date they have distributed over 1,200 free bikes to New Scots.

With every free bike they provide a Welcome Pack containing essential bike accessories (helmet, lock, lights) and information and resources about other free community services and activities. Steven McCluskey applied to the Alpkit Foundation and got in touch about Bikes for Refugees and what the importance being able to access a bike can bring. We were pleased to be able to add help with some of these welcome packs.

"Isolated and socio-economicaly disadvantaged refugees/asylum seekers in the City of Edinburgh will benefit from having access to bikes and these welcome packs. This will help them access essential community services and activities, and to meet new people and develop new friendships and social support networks as well as promoting physical and mental health and wellbeing."

1 comment

  • Hello. I work with Operation Promises in Liverpool and we are looking to start an initiative to provide bikes for Asylum seekers. We work through an Iranian Refugee Church and would like to set up a bike loaner program. While we would love to just give these bikes away we are also thinking about how to empower the Asylum seekers and create greater sense of ownership and self esteem in the way the program runs. I was wondering what advice or ideas you have from your experience over the years with your program of Bikes for Refugees. We have been thinking about a loan agreement, with responsibilities etc. Would you be willing to share any ideas or recommendations? We are finding with many new arrivals being housed in hotels on the edge of Liverpool, limited resources and distance are making travel quite difficult, even to just go into the city center. Bikes could make an even bigger difference than in the past considering the current situation. Right now we are purchasing cheap decent quality used bikes and repairing those. Of course we think about sustainability of the program and keeping costs to a minimum while also providing decent/safe bicycles. Thank you for your help. Again, any advice or ideas are appreciated. David Rice

    David G Rice

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