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Homelessness charity using bikes to reach rough sleepers

The team have been able to find many more people in need of help using bikes and e-bikes

A new cycling initiative started by a Glasgow homeless charity is allowing them to help vulnerable rough sleepers. 

Street Cycles was launched by Simon Community Scotland - the largest provider of homelessness services in the country - three years ago to reach and connect with people at risk of rough sleeping in the city, reports Glasgow Live. 

The team of volunteers work with Simon Community's Street Team to help those most at risk of rough sleeping.

During the lockdowns they have continued to operate throughout by riding around the city and finding those in need and getting them into emergency hotels.

They also provide essential items and on occasion administering the life-saving drug Naloxone to people who were in overdose.

Hugh Hill, Director of Services at Simon Community, said: "We knew there were people sleeping outside the city centre, women in particular seek out hidden spaces, they have to, they need to feel safe so they have become very good at keeping a low profile.

"Our Street Cycles team are able to get out to places quickly and much further away to connect with people and help them find a safe place to stay. 

"Last month was a good example having received a call from a member of the public the freephone helpline about a tent in Pollok Park.

"The team were able to get there really quickly though there was no sign of anyone staying there. Having the bikes means they are able to keep going back to check for anyone sleeping there. Thankfully no one was."

One of the volunteers, Craig, said: "We sometimes come across people very distressed and just taking the time to listen and to care can make a huge difference to people."

The team has been so effective in supporting people that a new Street Cycles team has just been launched in Edinburgh this month, utilising e-bikes to move around the city as part of a concerted effort to prevent rough sleeping in the capital. 

If you are interested in joining the Street Cycles team you can visit Simon Community's volunteering page on their website here.




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