CYCLING fanatics are being urged to get on their bikes to help the city's homeless.

Glasgow City Mission is organising two challenges in a bid to raise cash including a gruelling 10-hour spin-a-thon.

The SpinFit session at the organisation's headquarters will see dozens of challengers step up to the mark and pedal for at least an hour each to help the charity, which provides food, shelter and support for hundreds of Glasgow's homeless each month.

City Mission bosses will also be hosting the Big Arran challenge, where cyclists can take a 57-mile route around the island or climb Goatfell, it's highest peak.

Graham Steven, the centre's fundraising manager said: "SpinFit and Big Arran Challenge are two of our most popular fundraising events.

"As well as providing a lot of fun, the money raised makes a big difference to those in need in our community, those who have hit rock bottom.

"People can find themselves homeless for a variety of reasons: relationship breakdown or instances of abuse can lead to isolation, mental health issues or addictions and a downward spiral follows.

"The money raised from SpinFit and Big Arran Challenge allows Glasgow City Mission to meet vulnerable people's immediate needs like food or advice, and it pays for our programme of daytime activities which seeks to break this downward spiral of poverty and instead help people to move forwards once again with their lives."

As reported in the Evening Times, the organisation runs a winter night shelter until February every year, and has seen a rise of 40% in the number of people visiting them since the service started in 2010.

Volunteers and employees both help to staff the service and provide support to hundreds of the city's homeless over the coldest winter months.

Organisers are encouraging kind-hearted city residents to get involved in either of the two challenges.

Any funds raised will go towards helping people like Sandy who attends the centre on Crimea Street along with many other homeless men and women from Glasgow.

He said: "As a child, my stepfather would beat me up and I felt like an outcast from within my own family.

"Getting involved in gangs, drugs and alcohol was a form of escape for me from the age of 13.

"As I got older things became more violent and dangerous and that's when I ended up in prison.

"I attended a methadone programme and met with a counsellor to help me understand why I was using drugs.

"On being released, I found myself homeless and started coming to Glasgow City Mission for food.

"I got chatting to the staff and some really nice people.

"They involved me in some of the clubs and it gave me something to do with my time so I wasn't wandering the streets.

"The place has been a massive support and has really helped me a lot to mix with other people, get my confidence back up and be part of the community again."

Sandy has also recently started helping out at the charity's foodbank making food parcels.

The work helps him to feel as though he giving something back to the organisation which has helped him get back on his feet.

Those who are interested in getting involved with SpinFit on March 27 or Big Arran on June 6 should visit