Sir Chris Hoy leads cyclists on Glasgow to Edinburgh event to help fund new Social Bite villages

Sir Chris Hoy led the way as hundreds of cyclists pedalled from Glasgow to Edinburgh to raise money to help build two new villages for people experiencing homelessness.

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The Olympic legend completed the 60-mile route today (Sunday) to support Social Bite’s Break the Cycle campaign, which has so far raised more than £700,000 as it aims to fund the creation of Social Bite villages in Glasgow and London.

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The cyclists set off from the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in the direction of the finish line near the Social Bite Village in Granton.

Sir Chris Hoy, alongside TV fitness guru Mr Motivator, helped to kick off Social Bite's Break the Cycle campaign as cyclists pedalled from Glasgow to Edinburgh to raise money to build two new villages in Glasgow and London for those experiencing homelessness. Picture: Ian Georgeson.

Each of the participating cyclists fundraised from the launch of the campaign earlier this year, with entrants having access to a host of special prizes, including the chance to name a house at one of the new villages and receive a signed medal from Sir Chris.

Amongst the 540 participants was former Scotland rugby player John Barclay, plus residents and staff from the Social Bite Village in Edinburgh.

Television fitness guru Mr Motivator was also on hand to warm the cyclists up.

As well as the charity cycle, the fundraising campaign has been open to all levels of fitness and ability, with people across the UK taking part in virtual challenges since March.

Scottish Olympic hero Sir Chris Hoy was joined by hundreds of other riders during a 60-mile route as part of Social Bite's Break the Cycle initiative. Picture: Ian Georgeson.

Sir Chris said: “I’ve been a huge supporter of Social Bite and the incredible work it does for a number of years now.

“I’ve seen the positive impact the charity has on so many people’s lives and I’m really thankful to everyone who has been able to support the Break the Cycle campaign so far.

“It was fantastic to meet all the other cyclists and join them for the ride which will make such a difference to the lives of people experiencing homelessness.”

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Hundreds of cyclists participated in the Glasgow-Edinburgh fundraiser in aid of Social Bite. Picture: Ian Georgeson.

Since opening in July 2018, Social Bite’s Edinburgh village, in partnership with Cyrenians, has helped 43 people find their feet again, while 100 per cent of the residents polled in a recent survey preferred living at the Social Bite Village over hostels or B&Bs.

Money raised from the Break the Cycle campaign will go towards creating the two highly supported communities courtesy of pro bono help from engineering firm Arup.

Ten per cent of funds raised from the event will also be donated to the Scottish Association For Mental Healthh and further funds will be invested in providing food, employment opportunities and housing projects.

Josh Littlejohn MBE, CEO and co-founder of Social Bite, said: “It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to cycle alongside a sporting hero like Sir Chris and the hundreds of other passionate supporters that completed the route alongside us.

“Having so many people support the cause is incredibly humbling and Sir Chris’ backing of this campaign has been a major boost in our efforts to raise money for two new villages for people in a situation of homelessness.

“We’re working very hard behind the scenes on the plans for two further Social Bite Villages in not just London and Glasgow but other major cities as well, and the money from Break the Cycle will help turn these plans into a reality.

“We’re all very grateful to all of our supporters and partners who have helped push the campaign forward.”

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