We are raising funds to supply 50 young refugees and asylum seekers with lights, locks and helmets, and refurbished bikes - and to take a smaller number for a short camping trip. We welcome donations of any size - thanks for your support!
Who are we?
Access Bike and 3rd Space are Creative Sustainability projects. Access Bike is a community bike workshop, 3rd Space is a vibrant, inclusive, safe, supported space for young people to develop skills, make friends and have fun. Both projects focus on young people - and inclusion.
How will we ensure the money supports young refugees and asylum seekers?
We're working with Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (GARAS). GARAS supports refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants. The support GARAS provide includes welcoming people when they arrive, advocating during daily struggles, supporting them if they face being sent back and - if they are recognised as 'refugees' - helping them adjust to their long-term future. The people they work with have fled persecution (including imprisonment, torture and abuse), conflict, famine or hardship in their home country and taken extreme risks to reach a place of safety. All are desperate for security and respect and to rebuild their personal and working lives in peace.
GARAS have a new Ukrainian Advice and Support Team, and are also supporting Afghan families displaced since the Taliban regained power. GARAS also support those affected by the wars in Iraq, Palestine, Sudan, Yemen, Syria. Over those years they have worked with clients fleeing conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo, Eritrea and Ethiopia, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A wilderness camp
For several years, Creative Sustainability has run 'Creative Camping' - supporting disabled and non-disabled teenagers to spend time together at wilderness camps, encouraging self-agency, positive risk-taking, cooperation, friendship and inclusion. These have included camps for people being supported by GARAS. And this year, there will be another camp - we are seeking funding so that the 3rd Space team can support up to 15 young people to attend a 3-night camp in late August.
£100 will fund support for a newly arrived asylum seeker or refugee to attend a wilderness camp.
Bikes and essential kit to support cycling
We've learned there is a need for bikes, and for essential kit to support cycling. These are needed so that refugees and asylum seekers can travel to access support, make friends and build community, and reach volunteering or employment opportunities. Some have bikes already but need locks to keep bikes safe, or may need lights or helmets to keep themselves safe. Asylum seekers do not get large handouts from the state - they receive 30% less than those on benefits and are not allowed to work. For all these reasons, affording cars, taxis or public transport is difficult - and support to cycle safely can be a real benefit.
£100 funds a refurbished bike
£50 funds an essential bike kit
£20 funds a sturdy lock
£20 funds a helmet
£10 funds a basic front and rear light set
We aim to support 50 young asylum seekers and refugees with essential bike kit.
GARAS remind us that asylum seekers want to be safe:
- Asylum seekers are people fleeing persecution in their homeland who have arrived in another country, made themselves known to the authorities and legally applied for the right to be recognised as a refugee
- They have the right to apply for asylum in the UK – therefore cannot be “illegal” or bogus.
- They do not come for economic purposes
- The UK is a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Rights of the Refugee and therefore guarantees the right to anyone to apply.
- Refugees are people whose asylum application is successful and who are allowed to stay in the host country
- Most refugees in the world have no choice in their destination and only go to a neighbouring country
- The UK system is tough – there have been several recent pieces of legislation that have made this tougher
- Asylum seekers are more likely to be the victims of crime than the perpetrators
- Refugees make a huge contribution to the UK.