Bikes for Refugees have been mending and distributing bikes for ‘new Scots’ for two years.

Yaman Tawalkn’s precious two wheels are his lifeline.

The refurbished mountain bikeĀ helped him find his feet when he first arrived in Edinburgh two years ago.

With very little money, Yaman who is a Syrian refugee, searched for a way to travel on budget and began to search for a second hand bike.

“When I arrived in Edinburgh I found a bike on Gumtree, but it was really damaged,” Yaman says.

“I took the bike to a shop to get it fixed then I phoned a friend, Steven, to ask if he knew someone who could fix a bike cheaply.”

Steven McCluskey, a mental health charity worker from Edinburgh, saw how much a bike would help the young refugee and was able to find someone who would either mend the broken bicycle or find him a new one for free.

Now studying Business Administration and Marketing, and working as a baker, Yaman’s bicycle has helped him integrate in the local community and gain his independence as he builds a new life in Scotland.

“I use my bike to get around the city from my home in Fountainbridge to my work on Leith Walk and to my college in Tollcross. For lots of journeys, even shopping, I use my bicycle,” he says.

“Refugees have only very limited funds available so having a bike can help people like me access employment and their local community.”

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