East London cyclist attempts to bridge the gap for youth homelessness in all-night cycle
East London local Jack McGurran cycled across every bridge over the Thames for 12 hours straight throughout the night last Thursday 8th October. Jack, who cycled from 8pm on Thursday until 8am on Friday morning was taking part in Centrepoint’s virtual fundraising event STAY:UP, raising money for the homeless young people the charity supports.
The coronavirus pandemic meant that Centrepoint’s annual fundraiser Sleep Out was cancelled and in its place came the mass participation event STAY:UP. The charity asked participants to go one night without sleep to raise awareness for vulnerable young people who have nowhere to rest their head and find themselves sitting in 24 hour cafes, hiding on night buses or having to stay alert and awake on the streets.
Stratford resident Jack raised £900 for Centrepoint and cycled 202km. He crossed 23 bridges in the dark starting at Tower Bridge then headed out East via Essex to the Dartford Crossing and then cycled back towards London through Kent. Jack then crossed all London’s river crossings all the way to Staines-upon-Thames, and lastly circling back and ending up at Tower Bridge.
● Tower Bridge
● London Bridge
● Hampton Court
To donate towards Centrepoint on behalf of Jack’s tremendous journey, visit his JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stay-up-thames-cycle
Commenting on his fundraising campaign, Jack McGurran, super cyclist, said:
“It was the longest ride I’ve ever done, but the toughest part of it was when it was pitch black and I didn’t see a single other person or car for well over an hour. In that time the loneliness of being completely on my own kicked in and the reason why I was doing the challenge really resonated. I empathised with the young people who very often feel this way, but unlike me they don’t have a warm bed to go back to afterwards.
“The work Centrepoint does is fantastic. The charity provides accommodation for young people facing homelessness before they end up having nowhere else to go and turning to the streets. That’s why I wanted to get involved in STAY:UP and really challenge myself.”
Centrepoint estimates that 110,000 young people in the UK were homeless, or at risk of homelessness, in 2018/19. Now, in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, Centrepoint has already seen the number of people calling their Helpline who are sleeping rough double.
Centrepoint runs hostels across the UK supporting homeless young people into a job and a home. The money Jack has raised will go directly towards safe accommodation, education and training programmes and physical and mental health support for vulnerable young people.
STAY:UP took place last Thursday 8th October from 8pm, until Friday 9th October morning at 8am on Centrepoint’s Instagram (@CentrepointUK) and featured actress Lisa Maxwell and a live performance and Q&A by The Vamps. For highlights of the night visit Centrepoint’s Instagram.