Tackling isolation among refugees

Tackling isolation among refugees

Tackling isolation among refugees

Author

Introduction

In 2021, there were 36,562 asylum applications in the UK, an 18% increase on the previous year. The backlog in cases awaiting an initial decision also rose, with 83,733 people waiting for an outcome on their initial claim for asylum. Whilst their claim for asylum is being processed, refugees are denied permission to work, and instead receive £39 per week to live on. With a weekly bus pass costing around £20, many refugees cannot afford to access essential services and are at risk of social isolation.

2022 Award

Jem Stein (CF 2018) is the founder and CEO of The Bike Project, a social enterprise that supplies second-hand bikes to refugees. This saves refugees approximately £20 a week or £1,040 a year in transport costs, thus allowing them to access vital public services. In evaluating the impact of The Bike Project, results show that after receiving a bike, 81% of users report accessing services when they need to, 80% feel part of a community and 85% feel more confident and independent since joining The Bike Project.

Jem has been awarded one of our Activate grants to develop the work of The Bike Project, by making it easier for people to donate unwanted bikes and thus increase the number of bikes available to meet increasing demand. The funding will enable Jem to create an online platform that displays 100 drop-off points across the UK where people can donate their unwanted bikes and a tracking system to monitor when a bike has been donated. He will work with local organisations around the UK to establish 50 pop-up donation events to raise awareness of The Bike Project and encourage donations. Jem will also implement a new fleet management system to enable The Bike Project to manage the collection and transportation of bikes efficiently and cost-effectively as it expands its operations around the country. These changes will allow him to almost entirely automate the process, increasing the number of bikes they can receive without having to increase staff resource.

Jem hopes that this activity will result in the collection of 4,000 bikes for refurbishment and donation to refugees across the UK, at the same time diverting 32,000kg of old bikes from landfill. He will provide other organisations with access to the online platform, so they can easily source bikes for their beneficiaries too.

Jem’s Fellowship explored ways to scale up social enterprises and was supported by The Rank Foundation.

2022 Award

Jem Stein (CF 2018) is the founder and CEO of The Bike Project, a social enterprise that supplies second-hand bikes to refugees. This saves refugees approximately £20 a week or £1,040 a year in transport costs, thus allowing them to access vital public services. In evaluating the impact of The Bike Project, results show that after receiving a bike, 81% of users report accessing services when they need to, 80% feel part of a community and 85% feel more confident and independent since joining The Bike Project.

Jem has been awarded one of our Activate grants to develop the work of The Bike Project, by making it easier for people to donate unwanted bikes and thus increase the number of bikes available to meet increasing demand. The funding will enable Jem to create an online platform that displays 100 drop-off points across the UK where people can donate their unwanted bikes and a tracking system to monitor when a bike has been donated. He will work with local organisations around the UK to establish 50 pop-up donation events to raise awareness of The Bike Project and encourage donations. Jem will also implement a new fleet management system to enable The Bike Project to manage the collection and transportation of bikes efficiently and cost-effectively as it expands its operations around the country. These changes will allow him to almost entirely automate the process, increasing the number of bikes they can receive without having to increase staff resource.

Jem hopes that this activity will result in the collection of 4,000 bikes for refurbishment and donation to refugees across the UK, at the same time diverting 32,000kg of old bikes from landfill. He will provide other organisations with access to the online platform, so they can easily source bikes for their beneficiaries too.

Jem’s Fellowship explored ways to scale up social enterprises and was supported by The Rank Foundation.