Active Oxfordshire are thrilled to be part of Sanctuary Wheels, a project in partnership with Asylum Welcome, Oxford City Council, Cyclox, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue and TRAX. Sanctuary Wheels will provide bikes to young unaccompanied refugees in Oxford City to give them an opportunity to explore their new surroundings and to take part in positive, healthy activity together.
On Saturday 26th February, the first bike donation day was held by Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service at Rewley Road. The response was incredible, with over 50 bikes donated! These bikes will now be refurbished by TRAX, and through Asylum Welcome children will receive their bike, along with a helmet, locks and lights and Bikeability tuition from Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue.
Dr Hosnieh Djafari-Marbini, Oxford City Council Migrant Champion who came up with the whole project of Sanctuary Wheels said:
"Life can be so tough and lonely when you have left everyone and everything you know behind. For our young unaccompanied refugees being able to cycle safely will give them the freedom they need to be able to weave that net of safety and community we all need to live happily and thrive."
Josh Lenthall, Strategic Children & Young People Manager, said:
"Sanctuary Wheels shows how powerful we are when we come together – a message that we need more than ever in these difficult and challenging times. These bikes will make a real difference in helping our young refugees to get to know their local area and enjoy an active life, and we'd like to thank everyone who has donated a bike so far, and to all of the partner organisations involved in making it happen."
Sanctuary Wheels is part of a bigger commitment to make sure that every child in Oxfordshire facing barriers to activity can learn to ride a bike, and we are extremely grateful for the overwhelming support we've already seen for this project.
Along with their amazing partners and communities, Active Oxofordshire will continue to do everything we can to help refugees coming into our county feel welcome and settled by helping them enjoy the benefits of an active life. This will be more critical than ever in the coming weeks and months.