MCF has been working with BIASAN throughout 2019 donating bikes for asylum seekers in Bradford district. 

Asylum seekers are amongst the most vulnerable in society and a bike can prove a massive lifeline, lifting them out of transport poverty, enabling them to connect with local services, like food banks, language classes, medical and legal appointments without putting the strain of finding money for bus or train fares from their meagre allowance.

We are taking referrals through BIASAN (Bradford Immigration and Asylum Support and Advice Network) a volunteer-run organisation which has been running in Bradford since the year 2000. There is a predominance of young men attending the sessions run by BIASAN (both English classes and the evening drop in) and for them transport is a major problem. Many of them are housed in outlying areas of Bradford, where they have to walk for an hour (or more) to get into the city centre, where most activities take place. Not being allowed to work they have time on their hands, and being able to get around on a bike gives them opportunities they do not have when on foot. Having a bicycle makes a huge difference to their mobility.  

Donating bikes directly in Bradford gives us an immediate opportunity to demonstrate the impact of their work to the trainees in the prison workshops by providing photographs and feedback – both thanks from BIASAN volunteers who are able to confirm that they regularly see asylum seekers out and about on their ‘new’ bikes and also from the beneficiaries themselves.