By Clare Calder
Around 250 people took part in the 2019 Greater Brighton Cycle Challenge – organised by homelessness charity, Brighton Housing Trust (BHT). Participants took part in one of three rides, a 30 or 60 mile loop of the South Downs – starting and finishing at Preston Park Velodrome (the oldest in the country), or completing laps of the Velodrome itself.
The latter aims to clock up enough laps to go around the world.
Those at Preston Park heard The Choir With No Name – a local choir working in partnership with BHT for people who are homeless or who have experienced homelessness. Also at the park were The Penny Farthing Club, a balloon modeller, Brighton & Hove buses – who offered people the chance to have their name on the front of a bus and Evans Cycles, who provided free bike mechanical support.
Just over £12,000 was raised. This money will support BHT’s First Base Day Centre which works with between 70 and 100 rough sleepers each day, providing centre users with showers and toilets, food and hot drinks, as well as helping to move people into accommodation. Last year, they helped 222 people off the streets.
This year’s participants didn’t quite make it around the world. However, they did make it as far as Tokyo.