Refurbished bikes are distributed to asylum seekers in Bradford via referrals from BIASAN - Bradford Immigration and Asylum Seekers Support and Advice Network. We started by donating a couple of bikes per month to asylum seekers but the list of people who would benefit from access to a bike is growing and we now hold regular sessions where we donate approximately 15 bikes at a time. 

When we donate bikes we also include a helmets, set of lights, a pump, a bell, a high- viz jacket and a lock so that the new cyclists and their bikes can stay safe whilst cycling around the city. 

BIASAN, an entirely volunteer-run organisation, has been running in Bradford since the year 2000. The aim of BIASAN is to support Refugees and Asylum seekers in their efforts to start a new life in this country. We do this in many different ways, and over the past 18 years have developed a network of support from individuals and other organisations. 

BIASAN runs regular weekly English reading, writing and conversation classes as well as regular weekly drop ins on Thursdays, one for women and children in the afternoon, and a social gathering with a hot meal open to everyone on Thursday evenings, with an average attendance of between 60/80 people.

There is a predominance of young men attending these sessions, (both English classes and the evening drop in,) and for them transport is a major problem so giving a bike to a person in real need is a life-changing event. Many of them are housed in outlying areas of Bradford, where they have to walk for an hour to get into the city centre, where most activities and appointments 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, it encourages exercise, is great for a person's mental health and widens the world available to them. When you have very little, a bike is freedom.