By Jonny Long
Bradley Wiggins has issued a plea for people to help the homeless during the coronavirus crisis.
The retired pro filmed himself on his Instagram story dropping off some supplies next to the belongings of a person sleeping rough before asking people to look after each other and think of those on the street during these particularly hard times.
"It's crazy times, if you do one thing, do something kind," Wiggins said. "I've just dropped off some soup and an easter egg to someone who's homeless but this isn't about an Instagram post and wanting a bloody medal for it, it's just about looking after each other in the world we live. Such a materialistic world at the minute, just look after each other, stay safe."
Data from the charity sector says there are currently 40,000 people in hostels, night shelters and shared homeless accommodation, while another 5,000 people are on the streets. Last year, there was a 22% year-on-year rise in the number of deaths of those who find themselves sleeping rough. A number of homelessness organisations this week called on the government to do more than the planned extra £3.2 million being provided to councils to help homeless people during the crisis.
"A lot of the local soup kitchens and homeless charities have had to shut due to this virus so obviously there's not a lot of help out there for homeless people at the moment," Wiggins continued. "Obviously everyone's struggling, yes, but let's try and help some of the people that need it.
"Too busy worrying about each other and whether there's bog roll and all this crap but some people have to wipe their a**e with their hands don't they. Sorry about the language but hey, that's the least of our worries at the moment."
Wiggins last week said in his podcast on Eurosport that the cancellation of bike races was "the least important thing compared to other things in life".
"If something like the Tour de France was to go at the expense of the virus, it would be a great shame for the riders considering the amount of work they have put in," he said, before adding he was concerned for the financial health of the sport.
"This is their livelihoods. We keep saying it's only sport, but for these guys, with the financial implications for the sponsors and the teams, this could be devastating for them."
Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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