Wheels in motion for local food banks

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A Borders resident has set himself a challenge for the Easter holiday period – to cycle 100 miles across the South of Scotland on Green Wheels, his elderly hybrid bike, and raise £1,000 for food banks in the area.

Tim Clancey, a schoolteacher from Innerleithen, is aiming to raise funds for, and awareness of, food banks that operate in and around Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale.

He said: “Food banks deserve our support because they provide practical, immediate assistance to those that need it most.

“We also need to understand why referrals to food banks have increased so dramatically in the last five years. With a general election coming up, it is important that this issue is discussed during the election campaign.

“I hope to encourage people to think about food banks and find out more about the work they do, and why so many people now need to use them.”

The money raised will be divided equally between food banks at Peebles, Carluke and Dumfries, all of which will be visited during the cycle challenge.

Jim Benton-Evans, chair of trustees at Peeblesshire Food Bank, said: “We are seeing an increase in the numbers being referred to our food bank, and, while everyone’s story is unique, the need is very apparent. Food crisis can happen to anyone, and Tim’s efforts on our behalf will be both very welcome and very much needed.”

Jim’s views were echoed by Liz Barthram at Clydesdale Food Bank, who said: “The Clydesdale Food Bank serves a huge chunk of South Lanarkshire from its hub in Carluke.

“In 2014 we had 546 referrals which fed 998 people.”

Tim added: “I am not much of a cyclist, and my bike is 15 years old and rather battered, but it will be well worth the effort. I am also hoping to develop this into a national cycling challenge which will take place across Scotland every April from 2016 onwards and involve as many people as possible, so this will serve as a good test run.”

You can support Tim via his web page, www.justgiving.com/yimby/scottishgreenwheelschallenge