Silla: A Volunteer’s story
Silla is an amazing bloke. A skilled carpenter, he can build a house from the floor up. A brilliant storyteller, he can tell a tale in four different languages. And since he began volunteering with The Bike Drop three years ago, he can fix any bike up, too. This is his story.
“I heard about The Bike Drop from The Red Cross. When I went for the first time, I found it very helpful. I couldn’t afford transport when I was studying.”
With only £36 a week to live on and prohibited from working, not being able to afford transport is the norm for asylum seekers. It makes a bike essential.
“There weren’t enough bikes the first time I went, but I was told if I kept coming to the drop in sessions to help, I could find the bike of my dreams. One day I got lucky. I got a bike, and then I kept coming as a volunteer.
I find it so exciting the way The Bike Project have been helping refugees and asylum seekers. As an asylum seeker, if someone doesn’t know you, they don’t talk to you. Volunteering here is the place to forget that, to meet people and have a little laugh.
You make friendships here. I don’t see everyone at The Bike Project as friends, they’re family.
We still need volunteers to fix bikes and help. You’ll learn something new and make new friends.”
We’d love for you to join Silla and the rest of us every Thursday from 4:45 – 8pm at 12 Crossthwaite Avenue, Denmark Hill, SE5 8ET. You can help fix up bikes, match helmets and bike lights to people, or just be a friendly face to greet everyone. If you’re interested or have any questions, please get in touch here.
Written on: 14 Apr 2016 | Author: Anna Chapman