Cycling Scotland supports Glasgow’s homeless during lockdown

Cycling Scotland staff have been getting on their bikes in lockdown to support homeless people in Glasgow.

Cycling Scotland supports Glasgow's homeless during lockdown

Clare Skelton-Morris and Karlene Doherty from Cycling Scotland (Iain McLean Photography)

Since April 8, nine staff have been delivering food and essential supplies to homeless people and asylum seekers temporarily housed in Glasgow hotels.

Every weekday for the past three months, two members of the Cycling Scotland team have cycled around Glasgow dropping off food, PPE, clothing, soap and hand sanitiser at hotels and B+Bs.

Using standard and e-cargo bikes, staff have made drops at locations in Blythswood, Garnethill, Govan, Hillhead and Dennistoun.

In addition, one of the team who lives in Edinburgh has been out and about in the capital, picking up surplus food from supermarkets and delivering to people in need.

Cycling Scotland employees have cycled for more than 300 hours, made over 290 deliveries and clocked up 800 miles during lockdown.

The wheels got turning when Clare Skelton-Morris, who works for Cycling Scotland, spotted an opportunity to use the team’s skills to volunteer during lockdown.

Cycling Scotland supports Glasgow's homeless during lockdown

Ms Skelton-Morris explained: “Cycling Scotland has been supportive of us helping others right from the start of lockdown and I knew the Simon Community was looking for volunteers.

“The team at Simon Community could only make deliveries in their van, which wasn’t ideal during lockdown. Driving and parking in Glasgow city centre is time-consuming, costly and bad for the environment, and, due to physical distancing requirements, only one member of the team could do the deliveries.

“We offered to help make deliveries using cargo bikes, allowing the Simon Community to get on with the important work that they do: supporting some of our most vulnerable people. It’s been a really positive experience cycling around the city while the roads are quiet, and being able to help people who need support in a small way.”

She added: “If there can be any silver linings to the current situation, I hope that how we support vulnerable members of our society and how we move around our cities are two lessons we can learn from the lockdown and take with us into the new normal.”

Simon Community Scotland delivers a range of services in Glasgow, Edinburgh (Streetwork) and across Central Scotland. It works with people so that they can resolve their homelessness as quickly as possible. It maintains contact with people – in diverse circumstances – so they can help them address the underlying reasons for their homelessness and get the support they need.

Simon Community Scotland director of Services Hugh Hill, said: “These have been challenging and terrible times, yet in the midst of this lockdown we’ve also seen incredible generosity, compassion, resilience and optimism.

“The Cycling Scotland team have epitomised all the positives in their personal and collective efforts to support some of the country’s most vulnerable people: not just in getting essential items to where they were needed but in humanity and care for others.”

  • Read all of our articles relating to COVID-19 here.
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