A London charity that provides donated bicycles to refugees opened a new facility in Deptford this week following a massive demand for its services.
The Bike Project opened a new workshop on Thursday, February 22. The expansion happened due to the need for a bigger space to store and fix bikes in response to the growth of the charity.
Jessica Miller, customer service manager for The Bike Project, said: “We decided to open up the new workshop in Deptford because the size of our charity keeps growing.”
“We are having longer waiting lists of beneficiaries – asylum seekers and refugees – to receive bikes and now we have a bigger space we can store and fix more donated bikes for our beneficiaries.”
Refugees working through the asylum process in the UK are only given £36 each week and with bus travel in London costing around £21 each week, this is a large proportion of their income spent just on travel.
The Bike Project believe that “no one should have to choose between eating a square meal and catching the bus”, which is why they donate bikes to help with getting access to food banks, legal advice, education and a job once they receive official refugee status.
Over the past year 900 bikes were donated to refugees and asylum seekers, but with the new space, The Bike Project are expecting to hit 1,300 in the next year. “Our larger space means that we have the resources to hit our new target. Not only that, a bigger space means we can store a larger range of types and sizes of bikes.”
As well as donating, they also sell to the public to help supply more bikes to those in need. “One £300 bike gives us enough cash to supply not one but three refugees with not just a bike, but also a lock, lights and a helmet.”
Visit The Bike Project website to find out more and see how you can help.