A guest post from Kerr Sproul, who contacted RST a few weeks ago looking to find out more about donating bikes to refugees and asylum seekers in need of transport. This is a little outside of our remit but we were able to connect him with great cycling projects for refugees and asylum seekers in Glasgow and Edinburgh like the Govan Community Bike Workshop and Bikes for Refugees. Here Kerr shares some of his reasons for wanting to donate the bike to the refugee community.
At Heriot-Watt University we’re blessed with an excellent cycling facility, The Bike Bothy which is open two days a week. We have a volunteer who helps out running a Fix Your own Bike service, has a fully equipped workshop, offers bike hire, maintenance classes as well as cycle training.
We were recently asked to deal with an abandoned bike which was left unloved outside the Student Union. We felt it could be reconditioned and then given to someone in need to help them with transport. Due to rising costs in public transport we felt asylum seekers and refugees could benefit from this bike as it would give them low cost sustainable Transport and help them integrate into society.
Recycling the bike we have replaced the Tyres, replaced gear and brake cables, rebuild the rear wheel cleaned and lubricated the transmission then safety checked and test rode the bike. We think this is the best thing to do with abandoned bikes as it reduces waste, empowers people and means there’s more people actively travelling.
Thanks Kerr and all at the Bike Bothy for this donation. We hope the bike and its new owner travel many happy miles together!
While cycling can be a great way to get around the city, it’s not possible for everyone. Transport is a big issue, and Refugee Survival Trust’s bus pass scheme is a lifeline for destitute refugees and asylum seekers who cannot afford to buy their own tickets. Something as simple as access to public transport can be the reason that an individual is able to attend important meetings, go to the food bank, or even meet friends. Being mobile is crucial to the asylum application process and to integration into life in Scotland.
Every pound donated will go directly towards the cost of daily bus ticket vouchers for Glasgow and Clyde and Edinburgh and the Lothians, which cost us £6 each. Refugees and asylum seekers are eligible to receive the tickets if they have no resource to other funds; due to limited funds we give them a maximum of one bus ticket per week.
Contributions to the Bus Pass appeal can be made on our donations page – please mark your donation Buss Pass Fund so we can allocate it correctly.