Bike ride around Portsmouth aims to prevent human trafficking

PEDAL POWER Volunteers completed various distances on their bikes for Stella's Voice
PEDAL POWER Volunteers completed various distances on their bikes for Stella's Voice
Picture: Fareham Fire Station/Twitter

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A charity bike ride has collected money to help prevent human trafficking worldwide.

Volunteers were challenged to complete either a three, 15 or 50-mile ride raising money for Stella’s Voice.

This is the second annual bike ride for the charity with participants raising more than £2,200.

Riders who took on the 50-mile challenge set off at 9.30am and were joined by the 15-mile riders along Southsea sea front, before the group completed the circuit of Portsea Island.

At first the challenge looked to be hampered by the weather, but every volunteer who took part crossed the finish line, with one participant even swimming the last 100m in a onesie.

Events co-ordinator at Stella’s Voice, Lauren Gedge, said that the riders were constantly reminded of why they were doing the challenge, as two of the girls taking part in the ride had been supported by the charity over the last six-years.

Cristina and Aurica Busuioc grew up in a state-run orphanage in Straseni, Moldova. Upon reaching 16, Stella’s Voice was able to offer them places at one of the charity’s safe houses.

The pair are now set to return to Moldova after four weeks in the UK to finish their final year of university, where they are hoping to achieve a degree in Business Management.

Lauren explained that the charity has worked closely with girls in Moldova, since volunteers first visited the country and met Stella, a young disabled orphan who had been trafficked and used until she was dead.

The charity was then set up to try and stop things like this happening and to support young girls in Moldova to the best of their ability.

Volunteers at the charity’s store in Kingston Road have seen people show more support for their cause in the last three years, and every penny raised in store and during events such as the bike ride go towards supporting these girls.

For more information or to donate to the charity visit stellasvoice.org.uk.