9-year-old Lovisa is doing her bit to fight homelessness with her very own Home2Shelter bike ride, an 100 mile sponsored cycle from her home in Great Blakenham, Suffolk, to Shelter’s London headquarters.
Lovisa is passionate about cycling and the freedom it gives her and will be accompanied on her bike ride by her Dad, Jamie.
‘Having seen the challenges met by those facing homelessness, Lovisa felt lucky to have a home, and was moved to do something to help,’ Jamie explains.
After doing some research they decided to support Shelter with their challenge due to the broad range of work that Shelter does to fight the housing emergency. ‘It’s not just about [the] homeless but ensuring people have a right to a place called home, as well as helping prevent people becoming homeless,’ he adds.
Home2Shelter is a follow up from a sponsored bike ride that Lovisa and her dad completed last year, again raising money for Shelter. Over two days they cycled 50 miles from Great Blakenham to Shelter’s office in Norwich. ‘We found that our nearest regional office was Norwich some 50 miles away, so that started to ball rolling,’ Jamie said.
This year Lovisa wants to go even further and cycle 100 miles to the next nearest Shelter office – London – over three days.
Lovisa and Jamie plan to sofa surf for the two nights along the way, so that they can ‘highlight some of the plight of the uncounted homeless, who have to sofa surf for a home, relying on friends family and acquaintances’. This came about after talking to staff at the Norwich hub about hidden homelessness during their last cycle.
Last year Lovisa aimed to raise £500 for Shelter, but the response was ‘overwhelming’ and they raised an amazing £1,000. This year she’s cycling twice as far and hopes to raise £1,500.