Refugees wanted to pedal for Scotland


Cycling is seen as a way to combat isolation and loneliness 

21st August 2018 by Robert Armour 1 Comment

Refugees and asylum seekers are being encouraged to take part in this year’s Pedal for Scotland on 9 September.

Bikes for Refugees (Scotland) - which repairs and renovates bikes donated by the public to help refugees and asylum seekers - aims to tackle loneliness and isolation which many asylum seekers and refugees are faced with when they first arrive in Scotland. 

There is a high-demand for the service, with a steady waiting list of approximately 40 bikes needing to be repaired or renovated.

One of the refugees now sits on the charity’s board of trustees and provides first-hand feedback to the organisation to ensure as many asylum seekers and refugees as possible receive support. 

Bikes for Refugees (Scotland) founder Steven McCluskey said: “Cycling helps people's physical and mental health and particularly for refugees who have experienced so much hardship and trauma. Bikes also bring people together and reduce isolation and help people to make new friends.

"This year for the first time we are very excited to be riding Glasgow to Edinburgh at the annual Pedal for Scotland event 9 September.” 

Pedal for Scotland, organised by Cycling Scotland, was established in 1999 to encourage more people to cycle more often and to support charities by providing a platform for fundraising.  The first event attracted 400 riders and last year 10,000 people took part over six rides across Scotland.   

Commenting on the support, Keith Irving, chief executive of Cycling Scotland added: “Bikes for Refugees (Scotland) does invaluable work, enabling refugees and asylum seekers to overcome transport poverty and travel by bike, and we’re really pleased to be supporting them to take part in Pedal for Scotland this year.

“Our aim is to get more people cycling more often, encouraging those who wouldn’t normally have the confidence to get involved.”

21st August 2018 by Lok Yue

'Pedal' might be more appropriate: peddle has the wrong connotations