Get on your bike to help a street child

Release Date: 27 April 2017

Keen cyclists and fundraisers are invited to take part in a charity cycle ride from Fontainebleau to Twickenham Riverside this autumn, to celebrate 40 years of Twinning and raise money for street children around the world.

The 263 mile route lasts five days and four nights, from 13 to 17 September. It passes through small villages and medieval market towns in Northern France on a mix of quiet roads and traffic-free lanes.

Funds raised by this event will go to local charity StreetInvest. Based in Twickenham they support tens of thousands of children around the world who call the streets their home. And, this year it will also be reaching out to marginalised and excluded young people in the UK.

StreetInvest aims to help the most excluded, street-connected children to have access to a trustworthy adult. Knowing they have someone that they can rely on to simply be there and support them for as long as they need, is the first step towards changing their young lives for the better.

Just £1 enables a street worker to support one more street child in the poorest countries they work in, for one month.

The cycle ride is just one way people can help. After crossing the Channel at Dieppe, riders are transferred to Brighton to then pedal the last hilly miles north to Richmond where they will be welcomed by the Mayor, while their families and friends enjoy local art and music at Orleans House Gallery to include a cycle/scooter track for young children.

There are 40 places available for the charity ride, which is open to residents of Richmond upon Thames, guests from neighbouring boroughs and beyond. Places are still available.

Cllr Jean Loveland, Richmond Council’s cycling champion who is taking part in the event said:

“To survive living on the streets children must be brave, courageous and resourceful. Given half the chance they are more than capable of improving their lives. However, they cannot do it alone.

This is a great opportunity to raise money, be healthy and enjoy our beautiful borough, celebrating our relationship with our Twinning partner Fontainebleau.”

Duncan Ross, Chief Executive of StreetInvest who co-founded the charity seven years ago, said:

"Our vision is for every street child to have a trustworthy adult in their lives.

"I often ask people to reflect back on their young lives and to think about the adults that stood with them through the toughest of times. Most people are lucky enough to have at least one person who was there for them – be it a teacher, parent or other family member. StreetInvest is there for those children who have nobody to trust.

"It is wonderful to see the people of Richmond upon Thames stand with these street children. All the money raised through Ride 40 Anniversary and its ‘Welcome Home’ at Orleans House Gallery will help us put trustworthy adults into their lives, so that they are safer, supported and able to grow in a positive way. Just as we would wish for our own children.”

Ambassador of StreetInvest, Hannah Vaughan Jones, a CNN Anchor, added:

“Street children rarely feature in the news. Yet, they are among the most neglected, stigmatised and abused children in our society.

“I am proud to support a local charity that is helping to make a real difference around the world. StreetInvest has just five and half full time staff, but last year supported nearly 60,000 street children, while providing a further 350,000 with access to street workers.

“The charity and its partners can do so much more, and the Fontainebleau to Richmond cycle ride is a great way to show your support.”

For more information, visit Ride 40 Anniversary.

Town Twinning is a social agreement between towns, cities, provinces, regions, states, and even countries in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P191/17

Updated: 28 April 2017