From homelessness to a UK cycle challenge: Becky’s story

29 August 2019

Becky's cycle challenge for Porchlight

Having overcome homelessness, Becky has set herself new a challenge: cycle the UK in aid of charities that helped her.

The 28-year-old, who was homeless for large periods of her adult life, is raising money for Porchlight and stillbirth & neonatal death charity Sands.

Becky only learned to ride a bike five months ago. The 1,702-mile journey will be the furthest she has travelled and the first time she had done so alone.

“I wanted to challenge myself and do something I’ve never done before,” she says. “I’ve never really been anywhere and now I’m heading as far as Wales and Scotland. I’ll be staying in hostels and B&Bs overnight – I’m really excited.”

Becky sets off from Dover on 29 August and hopes to return by mid-October. She is aiming to raise at least £400 which will be split between both charities.

She explains: “Porchlight didn't just give me a roof over my head, they supported me through everything and gave me hope and a future to look forward to. Sands have supported friends who have experienced miscarriages and I wish I’d known about them when I was in a similar situation.”

Becky will also be visiting various UK homelessness charities along the route, finding out about their work and talking about her own experiences.

“People should know there are a lot of amazing charities like Porchlight who can help those who are homeless. I want to draw attention to them,” she explains.

Becky’s homelessness was related to issues stemming from a traumatic childhood.  Like many vulnerable women in this situation, she was exploited and abused. The turning point came when she met Porchlight outreach worker Ismaila who helped her find the right support in one of our hostels.

She’s now living in a place of her own and is determined to make something positive out of her experiences. This includes volunteering with one of Porchlight’s partner charities. Eventually, she’d like to join a charity and help people who are in the same position that she was.

Porchlight spokesperson Chris Thomas says: “Becky is an inspirational person. She embodies our philosophy that people shouldn’t be defined by homelessness and have the potential to do amazing things. We can’t wait to cheer her across the finish line. The money she raises will help us support other homeless and vulnerable people and we’re really grateful.”