About Sanctuary Wheels
Sanctuary Wheels provides free, refurbished bikes and tuition for hundreds of refugees across Oxfordshire. This includes, of course, the many refugees who are fleeing war in Ukraine and arriving now into our county. We will provide bikes, lights, locks, helmets and translated tuition so that refugees can benefit from being able to get around independently, access essential services and get to know their new communities.
Since launching earlier 2022, Sanctuary Wheels has been run by Cyclox, Active Oxfordshire and Asylum Welcome, in partnership with Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and many community organisations across the county. In total, together we have given out more than 600 bikes to asylum seekers and refugees in Oxfordshire.
Asylum Welcome explain why a bike will make so much difference:
We see, and our clients tell us, that having a bike makes a huge difference to their morale, gets them out and doing, gives them freedom of transport across the city and often is a crucial factor in being able to take up educational and therapeutic support. It can be a major stage in becoming an independent member of society.
How you can help
1: Make a financial donation to our Sanctuary Wheels fundraising appeal:
£20 could provide a lock and lights for one bike
£60 could cover all of the costs needed to provide a bike for one refugee
We are extremely grateful to Mark Beard, High Sheriff of Oxfordshire for donating the first £2,000.
2: Donate a bike for refugees. If you have a bike that you would like to donate, please contact email@example.com
Cllr Dr Hosnieh Djafari-Marbini, Oxford City Council Migrant Champion, says:
Life can be so tough and lonely when you have left everyone and everything you know behind. Being able to cycle safely will give refugees the freedom they need to be able to weave that net of safety and community we all need to live happily and thrive.
I arrived in the UK as a teenager and though I knew how to cycle in parks and green spaces, I had no confidence cycling on roads. Going to a university town not dissimilar to Oxford, I tried my best but met a wall of disbelief from other young people "how can you get to 18 and not know how to cycle safely". Having access to bikes and being able to cycle safely is crucial. The Sanctuary Wheels project will not only provide refugees with the equipment but also the skills needed to do just that.
Get in touch
If you have any queries about making a bike donation or are a partner organisation/host family and would like to request bikes, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any press/media queries or would like to talk about making a donation to Sanctuary Wheels, please contact email@example.com
Thank you so much for your support. Together, we can send a powerful message of welcome and soliditary to all refugees in Oxfordshire.