Queens Park locals cycled the length of the UK to tackle youth homelessness


22 year old Queens Park residents Ilya Kogan, Cameron Anderson and Daniel Shlomo, cycled 1000 miles in July to raise money for the youth homelessness charity Centrepoint and the young people it supports.

Ilya, Cameron and Daniel were joined by five of their friends, who all cycled the famous Land’s End to John O’Groats route over the course of two weeks. Their journey was a challenge with wind and rain, broken bikes on the way and getting lost along their route. But their efforts made all the difference as these eight young men have so far raised just under £8,000.

These three childhood friends grew up together in Queens Park, and were joined on their mission by Sean Caryotis, Omid Aminnia, Arthur Fordham and Louis van Boxel-Woolf; all 22 years old.

Ilya explained why they all decided to raise money for the charity. He said:

“During lockdown when we were getting the ‘stay at home’ message, we weren’t really thinking about those who don’t have a home to keep safe in. That’s why I suggested to the boys that we should fundraise for Centrepoint. We’re all graduating this year and wanted to do something worthwhile before life starts again.”

Before the pandemic, youth homelessness was already at a crisis point as Centrepoint found that between 2019 and 2020, around 3,000 young people were facing homelessness in Manchester. Over the past year calls to the charity’s Helpline from young people experiencing homelessness, have increased by a third compared to the previous year, while unemployment has remained higher amongst young people than pre-pandemic levels. Centrepoint expects that the number of young people facing homelessness has increased over the past year.

Lucy Goble, Community and Events Fundraising Manager, from Centrepoint highlighted why these young men’s efforts are more important than ever:

“We are extremely grateful that Ilya, Cameron and Daniel, and their group, have all taken on this challenge and managed to raise an incredible amount of money for Centrepoint.

“Over the past year we’ve seen that so many young people have lost their jobs and are struggling to pay their rent. With the furlough scheme coming to an end at the end of September we can only assume that even more young people will need our support.

“With this group’s help we can support young people on the brink of homelessness and help the young people already living in our hostels, to rebuild their lives.”

The money raised will help Centrepoint provide homeless young people safe and stable accommodation, support for their physical and mental health and give these young people access to training and education.

To donate to these eight young men visit: https://www.justgiving.com/team/lejogforcentrepoint2021. For more information on Centrepoint visit: www.centrepoint.org.uk.