Sustainable UCL


UCL donates abandoned bicycles to help refugees navigate London

9 July 2019

UCL has donated 27 bikes to The Bike Project, a charity dedicated to supporting refugees in cycling.

Bike Project

Occasionally, locked bicycles are abandoned at UCL. UCL Security leave notes on bicycles which have been left over an extended period of time. The notes politely ask owners to move their bikes. After 3 months, if the bikes haven’t been collected, they will be donated for reuse.

This is the first time UCL has donated bikes to The Bike Project, a charity with a simple mission of “getting refugees cycling”. They receive donated bikes such as ours, fix them up and then give them to refugees and asylum seekers. Some higher quality bicycles are also sold through their website, with proceeds funding further work with their beneficiaries.

These donations can really help individuals; London is a great city, bursting with opportunities – but it is also expensive. Especially when you're a refugee trying to navigate the complex asylum process on just £36 a week. A bike helps refugees and asylum-seekers access food banks, legal advice, healthcare, education and much more. If they're lucky enough to receive official refugee status, a bike can help them find employment too.

Since 2013, The Bike Project have given away over 4,200 bikes to refugees from dozens of countries including Syria, Eritrea and Albania and also run cycle training for refugee women, empowering them to take control of their own transport – perhaps for the first time in their lives. Individuals collect bicycles from their workshop in Deptford, and can also access cycle training, maintenance and other support through the charity.

UCL is pleased to support these efforts. You can find out more about how bicycles can help make a positive change to an asylum seeker or refugee’s life by visiting The Bike Project website . While you are there, why not check out the online shop for reconditioned bicycles!