Global cycling charity ‘Bicycles for Humanity’ (B4H) has launched its first UK chapter in Finchley, North London.
Established in 2005, B4H collects unwanted bicycles from residents who can afford to donate them and ships them to a community in a developing country where they empower local people and change lives.
B4H North London is the latest chapter in a long list to join B4H which has over 50 chapters in eight developed countries across the world. These chapters link to 200 Bicycle Empowerment Centres in 13 developing countries which, to date, have distributed 160,000 bikes and trained hundreds of people in how to manage bike initiatives for the betterment of their community.
B4H North London is appealing to North London residents and the cycling community to come out and donate a bicycle, adult or kids. Donors will be able to drop bicycles off at a local school on a designated drop off day. So far, the charity has three participating schools.
The late Paul Sherwin former professional cyclist and well-known voice of the Tour De France on Channel 4, said: “It never ceases to amaze me how an old bicycle that a child has grown out of, or one that an adult no longer uses can really change someone else’s life, with no effort whatsoever. I am so proud to be associated with Bicycles for Humanity and congratulate the new North London chapter on its launch.”
The work of B4H’s volunteers has been recognised with various awards such as the Canadian Meritorious Service Medal for contribution to humanity, and finalist for the Victorian Australian of the Year award.
Founder of the North London chapter, Andy Gild, said: “B4H has secured corporate sponsorship to fund up to 3 containers. Thanks to Sundays Bicycle Insurance, Correlation Risk Partners and Bike and Run East Finchley, B4H North London is now seeking to collect its first container load of bicycles and we need community support.
“Our chosen destination for the bicycles donated is the Western Cape, South Africa. We are working with Rotary South Africa and Aitsa.org to help underprivileged school children and their parents get mobile.
“Being able to give children and parents bicycles will go a long way to expediting their efforts. Now both parents and children will be able to cycle to school and work, saving hours of commuting time each day. This time saved can be spent being constructive, a simple example – parents will now have time to help their children with homework. Bicycles can also be used to keep the children positively engaged in after school activities, firstly by facilitating easy and quick access to what Aitsa has organised – it’s quicker, easier and more fun to ride the two miles to the activity than to walk.”