The Bike Project collects used bikes, refurbishes them and redistributes them to refugees and asylum seekers. This gives them the independence and mobility to reach important services.

The Bike Project aims to improve mobility for refugees and asylum seekers in London. They take donations of used bikes from the public, which are then refurbished by their team. Many of the bikes are then donated to refugees and asylum seekers, and some are also sold to the public in order to secure an income for the charity and ensure that it remains financially viable over the long term.

As well as providing those in need with bikes, the organisation offers a host of other services. The workshop is run by a team of mechanics and volunteers who train refugees and locals in bike repairs. This means that people learn valuable skills to extend the lifespan of their bikes, and also ensures a strong supply of bikes to be donated to those in need. In addition, they hold female-run bicycle confidence programmes for refugee women, to give them the skills and confidence to get around on their new bikes. Lastly, they run a Bike Buddies programme, where refugees are partnered up with a local who can show them safe bike routes and activities in their area, as well as providing companionship and support.

Why you should care

Refugees and asylum seekers with little or no income rely heavily on charitable services to get by – be it shelters, food banks, legal advice, financial services or health clinics. However in large, spread out cities like London, the transportation costs of accessing these important services can add up. In fact, the Bike Project estimates the cost to be over £1000 per year. Connecting refugees and asylum seekers with free, independent transport can vastly improve their living standards while also improving their physical and mental health. With 13,500 asylum seekers arriving in London annually, and 27,500 bikes abandoned in the city each year, there are more than enough bikes to go around.

How the Global Goals are addressed

No poverty
Independent and free transport helps refugees and asylum seekers access vital services like shelter, legal advice, health care and food.

Decent work and economic growth
Refugees who are able to obtain work in London can get to work more easily and cheaply with access to a bike.

Reduced inequalities
The Bike Buddy programme and the women’s bike confidence workshops facilitate social, economic and political inclusion for refugees and asylum seekers.