Team from Swindon Homeless Centre Compete in "Jurassic Beast" Cycle Challenge

published on 9 May 2016

A team from a Salvation Army residential centre for people experiencing homelessness in Swindon are set to take part in an epic cycle challenge.

The intrepid team of residents and staff from Booth House, Swindon have been training hard with regular rides in evenings and at weekends. They will all be looking to complete the 36 mile undulating course – 10 miles longer than a marathon - on Sunday, May 8. The sportive, known as the Jurassic Beast, travels across the Jurassic Coast in Dorset with a mixture of leg-pumping climbs, the cyclists will take in spectacular views and scenery – even crossing through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Mark Wheatley, 46, is one of the staff members taking part in the cycle challenge. Mark was helped by Booth House, in Spring Close, himself when he lost his job as a retail manager and found himself homeless. He’s now getting married this summer and works as a cycle mechanic at Recycles. He said: “I decided to do the Jurassic Beast sportive after helping as a mechanic at the Revolve - 24 hour endurance relay. It just clicked and I understood why people got into the sport. It all creates a buzz for the people at Booth House as we support them.”

The centre got involved in the challenge as part of its holistic approach as the benefits of exercise and team work assist mental and physical wellbeing.

Booth House, Swindon, is a residential centre helping people experiencing homelessness get back on their feet with two social enterprises – a cycle repair shop and a sandwich delivery scheme. The social enterprises help people gain cycle mechanic and food hygiene qualifications as well as to help them learn customer service skills.