Written by Nisha, Dulwich Hamlet supporter
Dulwich2Dunkirk, Dulwich Hamlet FC, The Supporters Trust and The Bike Project are teaming up to collect bicycles for refugees and those seeking asylum this Saturday (17 December) at a home game between Dulwich Hamlet and Tonbridge Angels.
Denmark Hill-based charity, the Bike Project works with volunteers to refurbish second-hand cycles and donates them to refugees giving them much needed independence while on a low income. A donated bicycle can save a refugee £20 each week, which mounts up to over £1000 per year.
Nicola Hill, from the Bike Project, said: “London is a city that is rich in opportunities, but transport can be really expensive, especially for asylum seekers who survive on as little as £36 per week.
“A bike from The Bike Project can make it that bit easier to 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, English classes and much more.
“If they are lucky enough to receive status, a bike can also help to find employment.”
As well as providing donated bikes, the charity also offers the chance to learn bicycle maintenance and offers dedicated training sessions to women.
“The Bike Project does not only donate bikes, but also provides a regular space within the local community for refugees and asylum seekers to learn how to maintain their bike.
“Our South London workshop is open every Thursday evening for volunteering, where the mechanics team more experienced people to work with less experienced people, so everyone gets to learn stuff and have a chat too.
“On Wednesdays we offer a specific training programme for women only, many of whom may have never ridden a bike before as cycling, was not considered appropriate in the places that they come from”, said Nicola.
Dulwich2Dunkirk member, Dave Rogers is taking the lead on Saturday’s initiative. Dave said: “I got chatting with the Bike Project at the Goose Green Fair over the summer.
“We’re really impressed with the work they do. So we decided to build on our work helping refugees in France and the UK by holding a bike collection at next Saturday’s game.
“We already have two bikes pledged and we’ve had such a brilliant response from our community with our previous collections, we are hoping our fans can bring down more bikes on the day.”
You can bring along unwanted adults bikes this Saturday (17 December 2016) at Champion Hill, kick off is at 3pm.
Dulwich Hamlet Football Club
Champion Hill Stadium,
Edgar Kail Way,