Since the European refugee crisis began millions of people have been forced to flee to Europe by land or sea. For the vast majority of these people, their struggle isn’t over: the challenges they face continue in new ways.
Children are growing up without access to education or real homes. Support from NGOs and government bodies is proving insufficient. A lack of support and funding, teamed with unhurried bureaucracy, means lives are put on hold.
We raise money to fund refugee projects
When choosing projects to support, there are some factors we prioritise:
DIGNITY // Organisations that act with respect and treat all humans equally
BUILDING COMMUNITY // Organisations run by the local community or those with refugee experience
FLEXIBILITY // Small, non-bureaucratic organisations that can adapt to their community’s changing needs
We’re flexible as to what we fund, and listen to the organisation’s self-described greatest needs.
In most cases, the greatest needs are running costs. Projects often close because they can’t get funding for the boring stuff like rent, bills and maintenance.
You can’t take great pictures of it and it doesn’t make newsworthy impact statistics, but boy is it important.
Since 2016, Thighs of Steel cyclists have helped raise
to support refugees and asylum seekers in the UK, Europe and beyond
It’s amazing what can be achieved by a community of ordinary people determined not to be bystanders
Keep reading for a breakdown of where the money has been spent…
2022: GLASGOW TO ATHENS
Many more details coming soon, but this summer our 93 cyclists not only cycled 5,428km from Glasgow to Athens, but also raised over £100,000 for grassroots refugee projects through charity MASS Action.
2021: SPELL IT OUT
With international travel still a little hairy, Thighs of Steel decided to focus our human rights campaigning and adventurousness within the UK.
Spell It Out was an ambitious plan to create the world’s biggest bike-powered GPS drawing, writing with our wheels the words ‘Refugees Welcome’ across the south coast of England, from Cornwall to Kent.
In the end, 169 people took part in the challenge, including 63 on the 2,208km record-breaking relay. A blaze of publicity, including spots on the BBC, Sky News and Radio New Zealand, helped our tireless cyclists raise a fantastic £81,428.
In keeping with the compassionate message that we created with our bikes, the money raised was granted to organisations that offer refugees and asylum seekers the warm welcome they deserve, both in the UK and on the borders of Europe.
2020: AROUND THE WORLD
In May 2020, we launched Around the World in 40 Days, a lockdown-friendly challenge in partnership with our friends at Choose Love.
The idea was to see if we could collectively ride, run or roll the whole way around the world – a distance of 24901 miles.
More than 550 people took part, each setting their own fundraising and distance targets. Incredibly, we ended up doing two and a half laps of the globe and, most importantly, we fundraised £133,361.
Here’s how the money was distributed –
2016-2019: LONDON TO ATHENS X4
Our spindly legs have cycled us between London to Athens, once a year, for 4 whole years.
Each year, tight-knit group of humans have cycled a serious distance, with very few showers and a lot of generous strangers. Together, we fundraised a load of money for Khora and other amazing refugee organisations.