Woman To Cycle Nearly 500 Miles To Raise Vital Funds For Homeless Cycle Repair Scheme

published on 5 Jun 2014


An enthusiastic fundraiser is preparing to cycle nearly 500 miles to raise funds for a Swindon charity scheme which assists homeless people to learn cycle mechanics.  

Sandra Turner, 58, bought her first bicycle second hand and took it for refurbishment to The Salvation Army Lifehouse, a centre for people who are homeless, which runs the Recycles scheme. Recycles gives the homeless people who live at Booth House Lifehouse, in Spring Close, the opportunity to learn new skills by refurbishing old bikes and doing repairs.   

She decided to sign up for the impressive feat – cycling from Geneva to Lake Como – travelling through the notorious Stelvio Pass in Italy with a bike that Recycles has serviced. The Stelvio Pass is the second highest pass in the Alps.  

Sandra, whose relative once stayed at the Army’s Booth House, said: “I think it’s excellent work that Booth House does. 

“It is great they are involved in the community – giving something back and the residents are gaining something from it as well. When I had my bike refurbished there and bought my first bike there, I saw the good work they were doing, and I decided I wanted to raise money for them.”  

Simon Styles, Recycles Workshop Supervisor, said: “At Booth House we aim to support those who have been homeless and are now living at the Lifehouse to gain new skills and contribute to the local community. As part of this, Recycles looks to train people to learn how to refurbish bikes and do bike repairs, as well as providing opportunities them to gain customer services skills and provide a real service to the community in Swindon. This means as well as being a Lifehouse providing a listening ear, and compassionate support, we are also supporting them practically with the skills they need to stay off the streets.”   

Sandra, who works for distributors - Westcon Group in Cirencester, will start her mammoth cycle from Geneva on Sunday, June 8, having set off to Switzerland on June 6. The cycle through the Swiss Alps to Italy, travels through Martigny, Oberwald, Bonaduz, Zernez, and Bormi, before finishing at Lake Como, lasts six days. Sandra will be cycling with a team for the six-day challenge, who are all taking part in the fundraising effort for different charities, through their work places.  

So far Sandra, of Plattes Close, Swindon, has raised more than £750 for The Salvation Army’s Recycles scheme. She’s aiming to raise as much as possible but is hoping to make it over £1000.   To sponsor Sandra’s efforts you can donate via her Justgiving page here