A charity bike shop that encourages refugees to take up cycling, in order to save money and stay healthy, is opening in Camberwell.
The Bike Project shop, opening on Saturday June 11 at 170 Camberwell Road, will sell refurbished bikes, clothes, accessories and offer repair services.
All the proceeds will help to get refugees cycling. They get free bikes, one-to-one cycling lessons, and the opportunity to be matched with a “bike buddy”.
An asylum seeker in the UK gets a cash allowance of £40.85 a week and The Bike Project founder says lots of this gets spent on public transport.
Jim Stein, founder and director of The Bike Project said: “We surveyed lots of asylum seekers to see what their transport needs were and they were spending so much money on public transport every week, almost or over half their weekly allowance.
“And that was really eating into their ability to do anything, to provide food for themselves, and so many people expressed the need for a bike so they could get around London independently.”
‘Pedal Power’ is a scheme that teaches women how to ride a bike, while ‘Bike Buddies’ helps to tackle social isolation by matching refugees with people they can cycle with.
According to the Bike Project, cycling can help provide access to vital services such as healthcare and legal aid, and improves mental and physical health.
Since its creation in 2013, the organisation has donated over 9,400 bikes, taught 400 women to cycle, and matched 100 refugees with cycle buddies.
Find out more about The Bike Project here: https://thebikeproject.co.uk/
To donate a bike, find out your nearest donation point using this link: https://thebikeproject.co.uk/donate-bike/