CYCLISTS will use pedal power to ride from Scotland to Birmingham to raise funds for the Sikh Helpline, a nationwide charity established in Sandwell, West Midlands.
The Sikh Helpline, a registered charity based in Sandwell, offers free and confidential support to anyone in need. High call volumes are received – ranging from grooming, suicide, domestic abuse, mental health, wellbeing, hate crime through to racism and substance addiction. Thriving on providing a support platform to help community members without judgement, the Sikh Helpline has been serving the local and national community for over 30 years.
This summer 2021, we look forward to the return of the Sikh Helpline Pro Bike Ride 350 Miles. In our series of rides, the Pro Bike Ride is the most challenging.
Using pedal power to travel from the streets of Scotland to the headquarters of the Sikh Helpline in West Bromwich, riders will cover a staggering 350 miles by cycling.
This ride will take place over 4-days from Thursday 29th July to Sunday 1st Aug 2021. It will start at 6:00am in Edinburgh, travelling through mountains and steep hills – 120 miles to Newcastle, 100 miles from Newcastle to Leeds, 80 miles from Leeds to Derby and then via Derby 50 miles to the final destination in West Bromwich, Sandwell.
Currently, riders are training tirelessly almost every day. Training sessions consist of riding over 100 miles per training session.
Sukhy Muttoo said “It’s a fantastic charity and a great cause. I want more women to get into cycling, if it wasn’t for Sikh Helpline, I would never be cycling.”
The founder of the Sikh Helpline, Giani Sukha Singh humbly requests: “We are doing a 350 mile bike ride from Scotland to Birmingham. We need the support of the local community to help us keep up with the increasing demand of calls. Every call matters and a missed call may be the only attempt someone makes for help. It is crucial that every call is answered.
Due to cultural barriers and protection of ‘honour’ within the local community, such victims can suffer in silence. With an understanding of these cultural issues and barriers, the Sikh Helpline offers a support network for these victims. Your donations are crucial to support the ongoing service of the helpline by ensuring we have the funds to continue to resource the helpline. We are looking into initiatives to be able to provide more services with the view to tackle issues before they arise, through prevention methods such as educational workshops and media campaigns. Please sponsor our riders by donating to the Sikh Helpline.”
Suki Lotay one of our cyclists quoted “It is vital that young people do not come to see suicide as an escape from their struggles as they seek to address the very real factors which shape their lives. Suicide is preventable, this means not just looking at access to mental health services, but also at how money worries, job insecurity, experiences of loneliness and disconnection can impact young people’s wellbeing.”
This year we have had immense support from the support from the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, MP’s and organisations that recognise the work of Sikh Helpline:
Boris Johnson said:
“I thank my honourable friend for raising the important work of the Sikh Helpline UK. I am very happy to join her (Nicola Richards MP) in wishing Giani Ji and the team the very best of luck for their charity bike ride.”
Nicola Richards MP said:
“I would encourage everyone who can, whether you belong to the Sikh community or not, to get involved with Sikh Helpline’s 350-mile bike ride. Participants have the full support of the Prime Minister and I, and I wish all involved the best of luck in raising money and awareness for this brilliant cause.”
Preet Kaur Gill MP said:
“The Sikh Helpline plays an important role in meeting community needs and after the last 18 months, this service is needed now, more than ever. As chair of APPG British Sikhs, I’m urging people to support the annual bike ride which raises funds to support this vital work.”
Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi MP said:
“Sikh Helpline does fantastic work, collaborating with professionals, the police, local organisations and outreach providers, to help deal with root issues occurring within the Sikh community. It ensures that those affected by alcohol and drug addictions, domestic violence, mental health, bullying and other such sensitive matters, do not suffer in silence. It continues to work tirelessly to support vulnerable people, especially as they have sadly required even more assistance throughout the pandemic. My best wishes once again to everyone involved and the best of luck to those taking part in the 350 mile bike ride.”
Chief constable of West Midlands Police, Dave Thompson joined us in our 2017 Bike Ride and said:
“The mission of West Midlands Police is helping those in need. Sikh Helpline is a helpline to help the Sikh community and any other community that comes forward about problems they have. Helping people is very important in the Sikh faith and it’s absolutely demonstrated through the work of Sikh Helpline.”
Director of Public Health Sandwell, Lisa McNally said:
“Organisations like the Sikh Helpline are more important now than they’ve ever been. They are there for people when they need them, offering support on a wide range of complex and often distressing issues. This 350 mile bike ride is a great way to draw attention to what the Sikh Helpline does and raise funds for their work.”
Chairman of The Sikh Police Association, Harvinder Singh Rai said:
“It’s our honour to once again be supporting such a worthwhile endeavour. The Sikh Police Association has a long standing friendship with the Sikh Helpline and its volunteers.”
President of Guru Har Rai Gurdwara, Daya Singh said:
“We want to say a big thank you to Sikh Helpline who are helping people who have been suffering in silence. I would like to encourage everyone to support the 350 mile Bike Ride which will be taking place this year.”
Closing statement from Sikh Helpline Admin Team
“The work of the Sikh Helpline makes a huge difference to many individuals and families, that is why we believe it’s incumbent on us all to dedicate our time and efforts, in whatever way we can, be it volunteering, taking part in fundraising events or donating financially.
Being able to take calls and support individuals suffering from serious issues such as Domestic Abuse, Substance Misuse, Mental Health and being able to provide advice and guidance around such matters is extremely rewarding. We hope others will be inspired to join the team and more networking agencies will come forward to ensure callers can be signposted to receive the help which is available . Together we can make our community better.”
We would like to say a BIG THANK-YOU to everyone involved in this event, volunteers, participants and Gurdwaras for their kind support.
For more information and to make a donation, visit www.sikhhelpline.com or Call 07999 00 4363