Second-hand bikes will be collected at Dulwich Hamlet’s home game this weekend, repaired and then donated to refugees and asylum seekers settling in London.
The Bike Project, a charity based at Denmark Hill, aims to help refugees get out and about to find work and get to know their new home without having to pay for costly transport.
The club has a long history of supporting refugees and asylum seekers, with its community lead Rob Hyneman telling the News: “Dulwich Hamlet prides itself on being the centre point of the community and it is truly a club that welcomes all.
“We are proud to be supporting the Football Welcomes campaign by linking up with The Bike Project.
“This weekend is not just about us saying refugees are welcome at our club; everyone is welcome at Dulwich Hamlet and that is what makes our club so special.”
The day sees the club join many across the country supporting Amnesty International’s ‘Football Welcomes’ initiative, which celebrates the contribution refugees have made to professional football throughout its history.
The club has also teamed up with Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers and Refugees to invite refugees in Southwark to attend the game against Hungerford Town.
Clubs who opened their doors to refugees include Saints, Wolves and Coventry who saw refugees fleeing the Spanish Civil War in 1937 join their ranks throughout the 40s and 50s.
Others include Bolton Wanderers striker Fabrice Muamba, ex-Manchester City forward Nadia Nadim, Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka, Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren and Crystal Palace’s Christian Beneteke.
Naomi Westland, Football Welcomes manager at Amnesty International UK said: “We are delighted that Dulwich Hamlet FC is taking part in Football Welcomes.
“Football clubs are at the heart of their communities and it’s great to see teams across the UK using the international language of football to create connection, respect and friendship across cultures.
“With so many people across the globe forced to abandon their homes due to conflict and instability, it’s important that football clubs use their platform to send out a clear message: refugees are welcome here.”
The club needs adult-sized bikes – and cannot accept any with broken frames.
For more information about The Bike Project, visit the website.