Updated: Tuesday, 31st March 2020 @ 1:33pm

Two Manchester men endure gruelling 960-mile cycle to create 'life-saving' map for city's rough sleepers

Two Manchester men endure gruelling 960-mile cycle to create 'life-saving' map for city's rough sleepers

By David Keane

Two Manchester men are on day nine of a gruelling 960-mile cycle marathon that will take them across the UK – from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

The duo hope to raise £10,000 from the back breaking expedition, which will be used to create a waterproof map for rough sleepers to find services in Manchester and Halifax.

Jim Codd and Andy Belton have taken on the punishing voyage as they believe their Rough Sleepers Services Map will get people off the streets quicker and minimize their exposure.

Urmston-based Jim has worked at the City Centre Soup Kitchen in Manchester for the past three years.

He first started working with homeless people 20 years ago and believes that the waterproof map can save lives.

Jim said: “The homeless are a hidden community, and from talking to people in the Soup Kitchen on average it takes around four to six weeks for people to find their feet after becoming homeless.

“But with proper signposting we can help them access the right agencies to get them onto the system quicker, help them to find warm clothing, a meal, and possibly a bed for the night with Manchester’s ‘No Second Night Out’ initiative.

“These maps will no doubt help saves lives in the winter.”

Sleeping rough and being exposed to the elements for any length of time is likely to quickly lead to poor health and eventually a spiral of emergency visits to A&E.

Jim and Andy believe that their map will offer ‘quick signposting’ – thus getting people off the streets quicker and freeing up the emergency services.

 Abdul Malik-Ahad, Head of Greater Manchester North for Your Housing Group who are sponsoring Jim and Andy on their ride, said: “Jim is an active tenant for Your Housing Group and when we found out about this challenge we wanted to support and help him to achieve his fundraising target.

“His valuable knowledge could really help make a difference to the homeless community.”

Donations can be made here: https://my.give.net/roughride

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