Local charity says thanks to H&F for the new bikes
Hammersmith & Fulham Council has given new bicycles to local refugee charity West London Welcome.
The newly refurbished bikes will support community members to get around cheaply and easily as they build their new lives in H&F. It’s part of our support for local communities as we work to clean our local air.
Leda, 23, is a regular at the H&F-based community centre and was overjoyed to receive a refurbished bike. “Thank you so much,” she said. “This is the first bike I’ve ever owned. I love the blue colour!”
Leda arrived in H&F after leaving Afghanistan one year ago. Together with her family, she has now found a new home in the borough.
Cllr Rebecca Harvey, H&F Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion and Community Safety, said: “I’m so pleased that Leda now has her very own bike thanks to our new bike project.
"We want to support residents living in H&F and give people the opportunity to thrive. This new initiative does exactly that – it’s part of our commitment to create a safer, kinder and stronger borough for all.”
The new scheme makes use of abandoned bikes found in the borough. They’re collected and given a makeover in partnership with H&F’s ‘Macbeth’ Adult Learning Centre.
It builds on H&F’s efforts to welcome refugees and asylum seekers to the borough.
Ready for the road
“These bikes will help more of our members to stay active and travel longer distances. People seeking asylum can rarely afford to travel on bus or tube so bikes are ideal,” said Shepherds Bush local Sanne van den Bergh, 48.
She works as a caseworker and development coordinator at West London Welcome, a community centre for people seeking asylum, refugees and migrants who live in west London.
"So many of our members are keen to cycle – in fact, we have a long waiting list for bikes. We always encourage them to take part in the council’s training sessions first, so they’re as safe and confident as possible on their new rides.”
When asked about her road safety, Leda is confident and looking forward to exploring the borough by bike. “It’s going to be a lot easier for me to get from A to B now!” she says. “I’ve been taking cycling lessons. I feel ready.”
H&F Council offers weekly bike training sessions, free of charge to anyone who lives or works in the borough. Book a FREE training session and bike maintenance through Dr. Bike maintenance on our website.
West London Welcome
West London Welcome provides a safe, inclusive space run by local people to help reduce isolation among refugees, migrants, and people seeking asylum in west London.
At the moment, the community centre is looking for bikes, for both adults and kids, as well as bike accessories such as helmets and locks.
If you’d like to donate, please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org
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