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Time to Talk Befriending copy

28th Hydref 2020

by National Lottery Good Causes

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Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Duis ac efficitur leo. Fusce nec risus porttitor, tristique libero at, rutrum augue. Fusce volutpat ullamcorper eros, a gravida ante pretium sed. In vel pharetra eros. Fusce vehicula bibendum eros, bibendum vehicula dolor consectetur id. Etiam consectetur, sapien non bibendum euismod, nisi ligula volutpat diam, at ultricies nunc nisi sit amet nulla. Nam tincidunt est urna, vel eleifend quam fermentum a. Curabitur sit amet arcu felis. Nullam semper, mi eget hendrerit tristique, lacus quam tempor leo, non fringilla nulla nulla id tortor.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Mauris pretium volutpat commodo. Donec sed placerat velit. In hendrerit pharetra felis, vel gravida nunc vestibulum vel. In mattis risus mi, eu feugiat nisi eleifend aliquam. Pellentesque augue ligula, malesuada eget elit non, vehicula iaculis lorem. Nunc pulvinar mattis orci. Integer tempus maximus metus ac posuere.

Cras non lacinia est, interdum placerat velit. Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Maecenas vulputate nisl consectetur, auctor elit non, blandit urna. Aliquam erat volutpat. Aliquam vitae lacinia tellus. Praesent vel tortor nisi. Quisque eget tincidunt erat. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Vivamus facilisis finibus augue, a interdum arcu pretium id. Praesent nec porttitor sem, quis posuere tortor.

Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Suspendisse sed lacus pretium ipsum consequat placerat at cursus magna. Sed blandit consequat libero, ac ultrices sapien mattis quis. Pellentesque pharetra auctor diam id sagittis. Phasellus ultrices bibendum enim, eu facilisis magna volutpat in. Curabitur tincidunt sapien id consectetur viverra. Pellentesque rhoncus ligula vel turpis rutrum euismod. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Vivamus viverra lacus id porta semper.

Nullam a vulputate justo. Morbi dolor quam, suscipit nec tincidunt a, pulvinar non orci. Nam malesuada dui a massa dapibus, sit amet efficitur odio interdum. Nam elit eros, luctus eget urna et, pharetra venenatis magna. Etiam a interdum quam, sit amet sagittis urna. Praesent lobortis velit leo, non pulvinar ligula fermentum quis. Suspendisse sed faucibus nunc. Nam congue feugiat posuere. Fusce posuere placerat metus, vel porttitor neque rhoncus eget. Integer cursus et est nec auctor.

Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Duis ac efficitur leo. Fusce nec risus porttitor, tristique libero at, rutrum augue. Fusce volutpat ullamcorper eros, a gravida ante pretium sed. In vel pharetra eros. Fusce vehicula bibendum eros, bibendum vehicula dolor consectetur id. Etiam consectetur, sapien non bibendum euismod, nisi ligula volutpat diam, at ultricies nunc nisi sit amet nulla. Nam tincidunt est urna, vel eleifend quam fermentum a. Curabitur sit amet arcu felis. Nullam semper, mi eget hendrerit tristique, lacus quam tempor leo, non fringilla nulla nulla id tortor.

Three and a half years later, the charity that Steven set up has received some very welcome support from The National Lottery, becoming one of the many charities supported by The National Lottery players who contribute around £30 million a week to good causes.

Meanwhile, Yaman is now on the charity’s board of directors.

At the start of the year, the charity reached the milestone of 1,000 bikes refurbished and donated. It has two workshops, employs two people and operates two community cycle hubs.

Steven says that after lockdown many people including asylum seekers were on limited funds and found themselves very isolated, so the charity put in place a COVID-relief fund of several thousands of pounds which helped buy food packages, emergency food and supermarket vouchers.

During the pandemic, the charity has also been supporting NHS and key workers with access to bikes.

Steven says: ”We put grants in place that have allowed us to buy new bikes, that we've been giving them out to key workers who have been trying to keep safe and healthy and avoiding public transport.

"The demand from keyworkers was outstripping our supply of bikes, so I came up with the idea of a bike-matching platform where anyone in the community who wanted to support a keyworker could loan or donate a bike.

Steven says: “Refugees and asylum seekers are "New Scots" to us - that's what we like to call them as opposed to labelling them.

National Lottery players contribute £30 million a week to good causes around the country, many of which are supporting the most vulnerable in communities across the UK during the coronavirus crisis.

"The last four or five months have been particularly challenging, not just for us as a project but for many members of our community,” added Steven, speaking as The National Lottery revealed a third of the Scottish public say they know their neighbours better than before lockdown, meaning that four in five actually feel safer as a result of this.

"The number of bikes we were giving to key workers was outstripping our supply, so I came up with the idea of an online bike-matching platform. Anyone in the community who wants to support a key worker can loan their bike, or donate a bike, where they can be linked up with key workers looking to access bikes via our website.”

Steven's workshops have now become a lifeline for many, with 300 households on his waiting list for bicycles and volunteers, many of whom are refugees, getting the chance to learn a range of new and important skills.

And while social distancing has made coming together as a community harder, Steven's desire to help hasn't dimmed.

"It's not unusual for people to contact us and say that they're having to walk three or four hours a day, three or four times a week, with their small children, in all sorts of weather because they can't afford public transport ,” added Steven.

"They're having to do that to access basic and essential community services. If you give a family bicycles, it gives people freedom of movement and a free means of travel, we also introduce many people to cycling for the first time.

“This has been an uncertain time, full of challenges, and we are hugely grateful to National Lottery players for supporting our work and enabling us to help more people when they need it the most.”

Jay Blades, who designed the benches said: “Like most of us, I have witnessed inspirational acts of selflessness and kindness this year as people have adapted their lives to help others. It has been an honour to hear the stories of the 13 people whose work is being honoured with a bespoke bench being placed in their local area.”

Dawn Austwick, CEO of The National Lottery Community Fund said: “For 25 years The National Lottery has helped make amazing things happen, but never in such extraordinary times. People and communities have found themselves facing myriad challenges and pressures but have still found the passion and drive to support each other in so many ways. These bespoke community benches are a fitting tribute and show that their incredible work has not gone unnoticed and is in fact recognised, valued and inspiring others more than ever before.”