Group use pedal power to help raise vital funds

Reporter:

Danielle Middleton

YOUNG people with experience of homelessness are using pedal power to drive their latest project.

They want to raise £10,000 to build The Getaway – a place for homeless people to get showered, fed and watered, with fun activities thrown in for good measure.

The 12-strong team of 16-25 year-olds from the organisation, Us UnLtd, are embarking on a four-day sponsored bike ride from Cardiff to Flint to raise funds.

Us UnLtd director Matthew Eccleson, 23, from Garden City, told the Leader: “People like us want to break this vicious cycle and make our life chances better.

“We’ve already opened our shop to raise money, but the bike ride will help us raise even more.”

The shop, called UnLtd, is run from Church Street, Flint, by a team of staff including founding member Paul Simon, who added: “I wanted to take part in The Vicious Cycle because I’ve been through a lot with open heart surgery, and blood clots on my lungs.

“I’m hoping this will help me overcome my disabilities aswell as raise money for The Getaway.”

Bikes for the 200-mile challenge, called The Vicious Cycle, have been donated by the Clwyd Alyn Housing Association.

Us UnLtd member Barry Machel added: “Once we have done the ride they will be donated to the hostels in Flintshire for other young homeless people to use so it’s all good.”

It is the latest challenge for the group, whose members have won a string of awards since their launch in November 2010.

Members Cat Jones, Shaneice Roberts and Stephanie Needham scooped The Inspirational Women Award 2011 for their work with the social enterprise.

Us UnLtd is funded by the Supporting People team at Flintshire Council and supported by Flintshire Local Voluntary Council. Suzanne Powell, from Supporting People, said: “Our focus is on giving homeless young people the skills and opportunities to move on in their lives.

“All those at Us UnLtd are demonstrating what can be achieved.”

The Vicious Cycle begins on August 29.

Visit www.usunltd.co.uk to donate.

See full story in the Leader

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