POLICE have ridden to the support of Sunderland pupils set for an African adventure.
Officers have donated more than a dozen bicycles to Farringdon Sports College who are sending pupils along with the bikes and educational supplies to a school in Gambia.
Those young people fortunate enough to go to school in Gambia often have to walk 5km in blistering heat to get to school. The gift of a second-hand bike makes their lives so much easier.Denise Barna, The Box Youth Project
Around 16 teenagers will make the educational trip in December as part of the Box Youth Project’s Operation Gambia 2015.
The bikes will be renovated by students at a workshop at the school, in Allendale Road, to make sure they are in full working order, before they’re shipped out to west Africa.
Once they arrive in Gambia, the bikes will be loaned to pupils to help them on their daily commute to school.
Pc Colin Davison has been helping the school with the project for the last couple of years after his own son took part in a previous school trip two years ago.
He said: “Police often recover bikes during the course of our work and many remain unclaimed by the public. Often these bikes are in poor condition and need to be maintained and spruced up in order to be used safely.
“It’s really worthwhile that they can be put to good use helping other children get to school far away in Gambia, so they can reap the benefits of an education.”
Denise Barna, of The Box Youth Project, added: “Those young people fortunate enough to go to school in Gambia often have to walk 5km in blistering heat to get to school. The gift of a second-hand bike makes their lives so much easier.”
Howard Kemp, headteacher at Farringdon Community Sports College, added: “We take our education for granted, but in The Gambia and other less-developed parts of the world children cannot access school so easily.
“Being able to ride into school helps overcome one of these barriers and we are delighted that the police have chosen our project to support with these bikes.”
The Box Youth Project, based in Hall Farm Road, provides educational and recreational activities for young people in the south of the city.
Find out more at www.theboxyouthproject.co.uk.