A bike courier who used to live on the streets is riding from London to Amsterdam in aid of the Big Issue Foundation who helped him turn his life around.
Dean Porter, 39, was homeless for around five years before selling the street paper helped him save enough money to get his motorbike license and become a courier so he could support himself.
After moving into a flat on the Aylesbury, Dean secured two jobs and is now preparing to hit the road again, this time to raise money to help other vendors get back on their feet.
In August Dean will complete the 100-mile-long Ride London before setting off for Amsterdam in September when he will cycle 150 miles in two days.
Dean once owned his own photography business, but like so many small businesses, folded under the pressure of mounting bills. “I tried to make it work,” said Dean, “but I wasn’t getting enough work and as a result I ended up on the streets. It was a difficult time.”
“The Big Issue does amazing work with the homeless. They helped me get through a part of my life that was very difficult,” said Dean, who hopes his story will be a reminder to treat a homeless person as you would any other. “Imagine if that was you, or someone you cared about,” said Dean.
“There have been some very tough times along the way, but I really feel now that I have turned a corner. I’m really pleased to give something back to The Big Issue Foundation by taking part in their bike rides. It’s my way of saying thank you to the Foundation for their support,” he said.