The following blog post was submitted by Swansea Bay Rides, a scheme offering bike ride tours of Swansea to local refugees and people seeking asylum.
Monday 18th July 2022
Swansea Bay Rides offers free bike tours of Swansea for asylum seekers and refugees in South Wales. They’re opportunities to experience Swansea’s culture and languages, and meet new people in the area. Anyone who wants to get involved can bring a bike, or borrow one of ours!
The first two bike tours to show refugees and asylum seekers Swansea’s landmarks and services were a success.
The Swansea Bay Rides scheme gives people seeking sanctuary in Swansea, and further afield, the opportunity to tour the city by bike, taking in local castles and historical sites, as well as other useful services and tourist destinations. Its aim is to give people who are new to the city an experience of the culture and languages, as well as the chance to meet new people in the area.
So far, rides have included trips to Mumbles, ice cream at Ripples Cafe, sharing cultural delicacies and food stories, and taking in Swansea’s stunning scenery.
Refugees and asylum seekers living in Swansea, Cardiff and Bristol have joined the tours and future tours will include the Copperworks, the Swansea.com Stadium, the Swansea Central Library, Swansea Market and the Gower.
With the Welsh Government’s aspiration of becoming a Nation of Sanctuary, the tours aim to bring together people who are local to Swansea and those who are new to the area to learn from each other and promote understanding and appreciation of each other’s backgrounds.
Dr Mike Chick, University of South Wales Refugee Champion said:
“This is a fantastic project that enables people seeking asylum in South Wales to immerse themselves in the local culture. I urge all refugees to get involved!”
One refugee said:
“Meeting people is a real enjoyment and I will remember the smiling faces of people who made this trip a treat. People make things much better. I have never been to Swansea before but it is a very nice, clean city and the people are very welcoming.”
The scheme is open to all refugees and asylum seekers, including those from Ukraine. More information can be found on the Swansea Bay Rides website.
The next tour will include a trip to the famous Swansea Market to exchange stories and ideas about food and cooking in our home countries. Details will be on the website soon! If you are interested in joining, please email Megan: [email protected]