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There are more than 40 million people worldwide in some form of slavery on any given day, according to the Global Slavery Index, including tens of thousands of exploited persons in the UK.
It is a heinous crime that needs to be eradicated. Action begins with awareness.
So, to shine a light on the issue, and fundraise to develop the Freewheel by Ride For Freedom programme that empowers survivors of modern slavery to cycle, I conceive and lead Ride For Freedom cycling challenges and events in the UK and worldwide.
For example, from 1-18 October 2021, I cycled from Cadiz, southern Spain, via France to London. The approximately 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometres) route was selected because it illustrates a documented human trafficking (a form of modern slavery) route from Africa to the U.K.
The challenge, which I called ‘El Gordo’ (which translates from Spanish as the fat/big one), concluded at the Houses of Parliament in London, was coordinated to coincide with International Anti-Slavery Day, Monday 18 October 2021.
The ride broke an existing Guinness World Record ("Greatest distance covered by an electric bicycle in one week") by cycling 1,706.85 kilometres (1,060 miles) on an Orbea Gain electric bicycle.
Your generous donation will support the development of Freewheel by Ride For Freedom CIC. The programme provides survivors of modern slavery with a bike, accessories and training to support their physical and mental health, independence and mobility.
A pilot programme, delivered during 2021 in partnership with the national charity Unseen, has evidenced that Freewheel by Ride For Freedom successfully improved the mental health of the survivors of modern slavery that participated in the programme.
On average, across the participants, mental health was the category that was improved on the most, in particular, a sense of independence surrounding the participants’ transport. Access to bikes improved the participants’ sense of mobility and ability to travel without dependence on others.
Following on, the five year plan (2022-2027) is to springboard the pilot into a scaled-up programme of ‘hubs’ to be rolled out nationally in cities and regions where the need and ongoing demand for the provision and service are identified.
The national roll-out will be delivered working in collaboration with charity referral partners and corporate partners who recognise the value of supporting a remediation programme that harnesses the universal appeal of cycling to empower survivors of modern slavery.
The first Freewheel hub was launched in Barking & Dagenham in March 2022. The hub empowers survivors – women, children and men – of modern day slavery to cycle by giving them bikes, helmets, locks, lights and cycling proficiency and road awareness training.
The programme in Barking & Dagenham, which will enable 20-30 survivors during 2022, supports their physical and mental health and wellbeing, independence and mobility https://rideforfreedom.org.uk/freewheel-barking-dagenham/
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The LeBlanc Family
Oct 3, 2022
Sep 14, 2022
Thanks for the fantastic day Gordon on our North East Charity ride
Sep 1, 2022
Keep up the good work ! God Bless, Baz
Aug 30, 2022
Well done Nick, Lee and all the riders.
Aug 27, 2022
Aug 24, 2022
Great work David!
Aug 22, 2022
Congratulations to Nick Bassett and fellow riders!
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