A Herne Hill charity which gives free bikes to London’s refugees and asylum seekers has been given a £100,000 boost to cope with demand.
The money, which comes from the City of London Corporation’s charitable arm, will help pay for new staff to fix up second hand bikes before giving them to refugees.
The project, which started in 2013, has so far donated nearly 6,000 bikes, but has needed to take on more staff after donating 1,500 bikes in this year alone.
“This is a pivotal time of growth for The Bike Project as we experience greater demand for our services than ever before,” said Nicola Hill, National Operations Manager at the charity, based on Crossthwaite Avenue.
“This funding enables us to scale up our bike donations and volunteering opportunities so that we can reach more refugees than ever before, whilst growing our social enterprise to ensure our long-term sustainability.”
By giving refugees and asylum seekers bikes, the charity hopes to make it easier for them to integrate into their new lives in the UK.
“This charity is giving refugees and asylum seekers the resources needed to access key services as they stat their new lives in the UK,” added Dhruv Patel of the City of London Corporation.
“Without access to transport, these people would struggle to fully integrate into society and become part of the community.
“This is a very innovative and unique charity that has proven successful from the outset. It’s found a niche area for support and is really transforming lives.”
The Corporation has previously donated £40,000 to the project to expand their online bike social enterprise.