2020 has been a bleak year for many of us, BUT, for one Recyke y’bike volunteer, it’s been a turning point.
Kami began volunteering at Recyke y’bike in 2019 after The Volunteer Centre referred him to us. Kami had recently arrived in the UK seeking asylum and was looking for ways to use his time and energy constructively.
Despite not having previous experience with bikes, Kami proved to be a fast learner and put in a huge amount of voluntary hours helping to clean and refurbish bikes. He was super speedy in the scrapping area (an unpopular task within the team!) and dismantled hundreds bikes which couldn’t be refurbished so that their components could be recycled.
Although Kami was facing his own challenges – managing on £37.50 per week and trying to progress his asylum claim – he always found ways to help others and put a smile on people’s faces, including setting up a partnership with Newcastle University students to pass on children’s bikes and scooters to families in need.
Finally, the news we’d been hoping for came in July that Kami had been accepted as a refugee and granted leave to remain in the UK. He quickly found new accommodation and a job at a PPE factory. Before we knew it, a couple of months later, Kami had secured an even better job at Nissan! He was able to furnish his flat and purchase his own car.
We’re so happy that things have worked out for Kami, no one deserves it more!