Hundreds of cyclists raise over £700,000
Sir Chris Hoy led the way yesterday (5 September) as he joined hundreds of other cyclists on a charity cycle from Glasgow to Edinburgh to raise money to help build two new villages for people experiencing homelessness.
The Olympic legend completed the 60-mile route to support Social Bite’s ‘Break the Cycle’ campaign which has so far raised over £700,000 as it aims to fund the creation of two new Social Bite Villages in Glasgow and London.
The cyclists set off from the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome and pedalled through to the finish line in Edinburgh, near the Social Bite Village in Granton.
Each of the participating cyclists fundraised since the campaign launched earlier this year, with entrants having access to a host of special prizes, including naming a house at one of the new villages and a signed medal from Sir Chris. Amongst the 540 participants was former Scotland Rugby player, John Barclay, as well as residents and staff from the Social Bite Village in Edinburgh.
TV fitness guru, Mr Motivator, was also on hand to warm the cyclists up on the start line and welcome them over the finish line at the end of their journey.
Josh Littlejohn MBE, co-founder of Social Bite, who also completed the cycle, said: “It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to cycle alongside a sporting hero like Sir Chris and the hundreds of other passionate supporters that completed the route alongside us.
“Having so many people support the cause is incredibly humbling and Sir Chris’ backing of this campaign has been a major boost in our efforts to raise money for two new villages for people in a situation of homelessness.
“We’re working very hard behind the scenes on the plans for two further Social Bite Villages in not just London and Glasgow but other major cities as well, and the money from Break the Cycle will help turn these plans into a reality. We’re all very grateful to all of our supporters and partners who have helped push the campaign forward.”
As well as the charity cycle, the fundraising campaign has been open to all levels of fitness and ability, with people across the UK taking part in virtual challenges since March to raise money.
Challenges have ranged from long distance challenges, through to different exercise routines depending on what suited people best.
Chris Hoy said: “I’ve been a huge supporter of Social Bite and the incredible work it does for a number of years now.
“I’ve seen the positive impact the charity has on so many people’s lives and I’m really thankful to everyone who has been able to support the Break the Cycle campaign so far.
“It was fantastic to meet all the other cyclists and join them for the ride which will make such a difference to the lives of people experiencing homelessness.”
Since opening in July 2018, Social Bite’s Edinburgh village in partnership with Cyrenians has helped 43 people find their feet again, 100% of the residents in a recent survey preferred living at the Social Bite Village over Hostels or B&Bs.
The village offers a supportive community to help people build an independent life, with the village blueprint offering an alternative to how society responds to homelessness.
Money raised from the Break the Cycle campaign will go towards creating the two highly supported communities with the pro bono help of engineering firm Arup.
10% of funds raised from the event will also be donated to SAMH, the Scottish Association for Mental Health and further funds will be invested in Social Bite’s mission to Break the Cycle of homelessness by providing food, employment opportunities, and housing projects.