About the Founder

About the Founder

While you're here, I wanted to share a bit about my background and explain how A Safe House came about.

The story started when I was only 12 years old. I got in to BMX racing and it became a passion for me as I got older. Even though I loved it, there was no career in it because it wasn't an Olympic sport back then. I knew I needed to earn an income, so I turned my hand to music and became a drive time DJ for Choice FM. Over the years, I worked with many artists, including Dizzee Rascal, Lethal Bizzle, and So Solid Crew. I'm still in the industry and I DJ in world reknowned venues, such as Pacha in Ibiza.

In 2004, I had an opportunity to work with Southwark Council and Edwards Bike Shop in London, on a project to clear a patch of waste ground on Naylor Road in Peckham and turn it into a BMX track.  My vision was to help create a positive influence on young people in the local area.  After a lot of back-breaking work, we opened our first track and started with just four children – it was small but effective.  I spent time mentoring the young people because I didn’t want to lose them to the streets.  Plus it felt good to see them doing something they really enjoyed.  This was more than just a club - for some young people, it was their only lifeline and that was more important than anything else. 

 Very quickly, our membership increased week on week and by 2008, we were the number one BMX Club in the UK.  We also made a movie called 1 Way Up which won an award.

Our track was tiny so I knew my next step was to do something about it.  I went to the council and it took me seven years to raise the money, but I did it.  We opened the new track in 2013 in Burgess Park, South London.  My focus was and still is, on making sure young people have a structure to support them in their personal life as well as training. Their behaviour at home and school is crucial to being successful at anything else in life.  We supported young people with the right diet, training, and attitude.  Of course, there were challenges along the way, and the youth weren't always easy to work with, but we stuck with it and now our team has gone on to win national and international titles.  We’re the only club in England to send nine riders to the Olympic programme!

My team and I are strongly committed to improving the lives of our young people and we’ll look for every opportunity available to support them to become independent and build a positive future for themselves,  With us, they'll learn to believe in themselves and know that they're special and important.

In 2015, I was honored to have been awarded an MBE in recognition of my services to South London’s young people through my BMX club.   But my work is far from done - there's still more vulnerable young people out there who may never have the chance to belong to something that gives them reward and meaning.  Those types of young people also need to be reached and be given the right support.  I know 100% that with this, they can achieve better outcomes for themselves.  This led me to set up A Safe House, specifically for the vulnerable young people who are Looked After and coming up to independence. 

Thanks for taking the time to read about me.  I hope we can work together and that we can be A Safe House to your young people soon.  

Michael Pusey MBE