Well done and a massive thank you to all you wonderful cyclists. As a group, we have fundraised an AMAZING £43,000 incl gift aid!
We've spent the last few days catching up on sleep and chatting to Skipchen about their progress and what our money will enable them to do. To get everyone up to speed, here is a snapshot summary of their beginnings and what lies ahead...
Skipchen is a Bristol based food organisation that acted upon the need to support refugees back in November. Hearing about the appaulling conditions in Lesvos, they travelled there and successfully set up a kitchen that provided food for thousands of people daily. Preempting the change in EU policy, and recognising the instability of the political situation in the refugee camps, they recently moved to Athens, where many displaced people are gravitating to, needing long-term support. This is where we have found them, at the end of our long, long cycle and at the beginning of their inspiring and ambitious project.
As part of establishing themselves as a long-standing project here, they recognised that they needed to work under a more appropriate name as their aims are very different to Skipchen which still runs in Bristol. They have now fully transitioned to being Khora, a Greek cooperative foundation. Their aim is 'to provide a hub for refugees stranded in Greece. The idea is to be a welcoming community space where displaced people can interact with the international and local community and access services and information key to their survival and integration in Europe.' Sam, Khora's co-founder.
To do this they are taking on a 7 storey property in Athens, each floor focusing on different needs of refugees. The ground floor will be dedicated to food, another to hygiene, another to education and another to computer access and legal advice, just to name a few.
The money we have fundraised is crucial to setting this project up. It can pay for the entire set up of building plus 50,000 meals, or all of the rent for a year with extra to spare, or 120,000 meals... However it is phrased, it will bring about a lot of good.
This amount of money has only come about from the leg work of Kathleen, Josh, Mary, Thuli, Adam, Cosmo, Joe, Toby, Natasha, Alex,
Megan, Joe Bourdillon-Schicker, Edward, Rachel, Phil, Joe, Oli, Christopher, Harri, Simon, Arthur, Matt, Eiblein, Sof, Theo, Sara, Kirsty,
Eleanor, Hanna, Jon, Alice, Greg, Majeeda, Alex Holsgrove, Nele, Heni, Jack, Faye, Tom, Nedah, Connie and Luke.
We salute you, tip are hats to you, and it makes us really excited to maybe, just maybe, think about doing it all again next year....