Five days – five cities – five events – 14 riders.
Last week we were very proud to sponsor Cycle for Freedom. Over five days, 14 riders rode across the country to raise awareness and funds to combat human trafficking in the UK.
Now, you may think that human trafficking is something that doesn’t happen in this country, but you would sadly be wrong. The hard facts show that it’s happening all the time, sometimes right on our doorstep.
- In 2012, 25% of trafficking victims found in the UK were children, 70 of which were up to 9 years old (Home Office Report 2013).
- In 2012, the UK was number 8 on the list of ‘Where people are trafficked from’ (Home Office report 2013).
Led by Julia Immonen, Sky Sports presenter and Double World Record Atlantic Ocean Rower, the team of 14 started in Liverpool on Tuesday 14 October, and finished on Saturday 18 October by completing the 120KM Olympic route in London to mark Anti-Slavery Day. More than 300 hard-core cyclists were there to join them. The elite 14 finished after completing more than 650KM of riding in just five days.
Along the route the riders stopped off at various education establishments to raise awareness of modern day slavery with students. One of those lucky enough to meet the team were our very own Streetly Academy.
Despite their aches and pains the team presented to an assembly of year 9 students about the key issues around human trafficking and slavery. Billy Downie, Head Teacher at Streetly said:
“Hearing from Julia and the Cycle for Freedom team was totally inspiring. Human trafficking is an ugly subject matter, but it’s so important that we make our young people aware of the issues and dangers. It was also great for our students to see the positive impact that sport can have. By using sporting challenges to inspire action our students were completely motivated to make a difference.”
Overall the event was huge success and something we’re very proud to have been part of.