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Cycling for Sanctuary – London to Paris July 27th

Sponsor Ian on his cycling marathon!!

Ex-Director of Adult Social Care in Solihull, Ian James has set himself a cycling challenge to raise money for the local Birmingham charity City of Sanctuary which aims to create an atmosphere of welcome for refugees. You can donate on line at

Ian started cycling 2 years ago and has been cycling the 12 miles each way across Birmingham to his job in Solihull since then. Having decided to take a break from work he needed a more physical challenge and he’s cycling over 300 miles from London to Paris raising money for City of Sanctuary– that’s 80 miles a day for 4 days!!

He told us “my training is going well and I am getting stronger and faster, but this is a massive step up from a modest daily commute!”

Ian became aware of Ian Jamessome of the challenges facing new refugees whilst working at Solihull. His offices were close to the Home Office reporting centre where asylum seekers had to queue outside in all weathers and Solihull Council has had a significant role in supporting unaccompanied children who are seeking asylum. Solihull Churches Asylum Seekers Support Group is also part of Birmingham City of Sanctuary.

Ian said, “Creating a ‘welcome’ is such a simple yet powerful idea, something we can all identify with, and particularly for people who have been running for their lives. Refugees can face hostility and a lot of local people have negative feelings about migration. But ultimately we are all human and should support others in difficulty and try to understand their plight.”

City of Sanctuary is supported by the Birmingham Mail and Birmingham City Council and it’s just beginning fundraising to support its activities. It aims to help local communities create an atmosphere of welcome for refugees who arrive in our city after having to flee their homes. It helps the host community understand why people come as refugees and helps refugees understand our society and integrate in our communities.

Ian sets off on his 4 day marathon on July 27th. You can read his blog at

Ian is paying his own expenses so that every penny donated goes towards the charity. He has already passed his original target of £1000 and now he’s hoping to make that £2000. You can donate on line at