Project transforms bicycles for Ukrainian refugee children
published on 9 Oct 2023
Refurbished bicycles are being donated to children who have fled the war in Ukraine and resettled in Scarborough as part of a Salvation Army-led project.
For the past year, Scarborough Salvation Army in Alma Parade has been running The Sunflower Project, which supports Ukrainian refugees and their sponsors in the local community providing food, clothing, transportation, language classes and a surgery six days a week offering advice on navigating a new culture and language.
Teaming up with The Scarborough and Ryedale Community Cycling Project and local charity Treasured Memory Makers, The Salvation Army will distribute 40 refurbished bikes to children and their parents, providing the means for healthy, outdoor fun and for travelling to school and back.
Major Stephen Noble, who leads Scarborough Salvation Army with his wife Captain Angela, said: “Children are of course a significant casualty of war who will be experiencing a lot of trauma having had to flee their homeland while this terrible situation continues.
“Our aim in providing these bikes is to bring an immense amount of joy to families enabling them to explore and enjoy our local countryside, while also very practically, this will provide a cost free and healthy way of getting to school and back.
“The first 19 bikes were handed over to families on Saturday (7th October). It was fantastic to see lots of smiling faces when they were received, we could see they were really excited to get started!
“We are also looking for donations of bikes so if you have one that is in a good condition and is unused please consider donating it as it will be going to a good cause.”
The Sunflower Project runs a café and hub every Friday at The Salvation Army in Alma Parade, bringing together Ukrainian refugees and volunteers. They run a surgery six days a week to help refugees with practical issues like housing, funding, negotiating local Government requests as well as English language classes.
Stephen continued: “Ukrainian refugees have come to Scarborough not knowing when or if they will be able to return to their homeland. We want to keep their spirits up, make sure they feel welcome and have the practical help they need to settle here while also building relationships with the local community. The reality is it is very daunting coming to a strange country and trying to navigate new systems. Our support is wide ranging and is tailored to what people need.”
If you have a bike you would like to donate please phone 01723 378603 or email email@example.com