There is a lot of support for the motorcycling community when it comes to charities, everything from rehabilitation for disabled riders, support for bikers and their families and even transporting vital supplies such as blood to hospitals for those in desperate need.
Check out these excellent charities and all the hard work they do…
The Bike Experience
The Bike Experience is a charity that teaches disabled motorbike riders how to ride again following an accident or disability. The charity was founded in 2011 and gained official charity status in 2012.
The Bike Experience offers a 1 day course, free of charge to disabled riders, on specifically adapted motorbikes to suit each rider’s individual needs.
The purpose of this course is stated in the Bike Experience’s core values:
- Freedom – giving back the feelings of independence through riding to empower individuals with the right of choice and equality.
- Achievement – showing people you can achieve if you believe. Make the impossible into the possible and improve self-confidence with power, courage and bravery.
- Evolution – bringing together able-bodied and disabled people so the boundaries are broken and myths of disability are deconstructed on both sides, allowing everyone to ride together, side by side.
At the moment, this experience is only available to people who have ridden a motorbike before their accident/disability. The charity is looking to evolve in the future is they can teach complete novices too.
The Bike Experience doesn’t have a major sponsor funding them but they do have small contribution donated to them which enables them to continue providing this valuable service. All donations are welcome from individuals or companies as every little bit counts towards the continuous running costs.
In 2014, Devitt donated a motorcycle to The Bike Experience that was adapted and modified to help those get back on two wheels.
Go to The Bike Experience Website for more information on the work this charity does and how they do it.
The British Biker Relief Foundation (BBRF)
This foundation was put in place to support motorcyclists after serious and life-changing injuries sustained in a motorbike road traffic accident. Not only are the BBRF there for the motorcyclist, they are there to support their families too and they offer their services to anyone who needs it all over the UK.
The support offered by the BBRF includes; counselling, physiotherapy, small grants, mobility aids, children’s books and materials and home help equipment. These support options are available for as little or as long as they are needed.
The BBRF relies on support from donations to be able to keep doing what they are doing. 100% of all donations go towards supporting those in need so they can guarantee the money is going where it is intended.
To become a member of this foundation to show your support or to make a donation, all the information you need is on their website. Contact details are also available for anyone who needs the services of the BBRF to help improve their lives.
Armed Forces Bikers
The Armed Forces Bikers (AFB) is a UK based charity. The charity assists former serving members of the Armed Forces that have been injured or suffered a harmful experience during their service. The AFB helps these veterans resettle and rehabilitate into civilian life and relieve the needs and demands of their families.
AFB charity riders are the only motorcyclists that support our Armed Forces, Veterans and their families. They are open to all three Arms of HM Forces. So whether serving or ‘ex-‘ of the Army, Navy or Royal Air Force and you ride a motorbike you can become a forum member, free of charge.
The bikers ride free to fulfil the charity’s aims:
- To support veterans who are finding civilian life difficult,
- To organise events, meets and rides to display the AFB patches and raise awareness of the Armed Forces and the experiences they have world-wide, and
- To raise money for Armed Forces charitable causes and projects.
The Armed Forces Bikers was given charity status in 2012. The charity is run entirely by volunteers and employs no staff. The activities organised by the charity are funded by AFB Trading Ltd, a non-profit online shop whose only shareholder is the charity.
SERV – Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers
This charity is run entirely by volunteers who receive no compensation for their time or costs. SERV has saved many lives since 1981 and has saved the NHS hospitals hundreds of thousands of pounds in courier and taxi costs.
SERV provides the facilities and resources to deliver a vital rapid response medical transport service. The riders transport blood, blood products, biological samples, vaccines, medical notes, X-rays, scans and donor breast milk to hospitals out of hours when regular transport is available.
SERV are founders of NABB – the National Association of Blood Bikes.
SERV work in regions all over England:
- SERV Herts and Beds
- SERV Kent
- SERV Norfolk
- SERV Oxon, Bucks, Berks and Northants
- SERV Suffolk and Cambridge
- SERV Surrey and South London
- SERV Sussex
- SERV Wessex.
Devitt have been sponsoring SERV Sussex for over 10 years, providing free fleet insurances allowing the riders to transport vital medical supplies without worry!
More information on SERV can be found on the SERV Website.
Stoke-on-Trent Charity Motorcycle Runs
The Star Bikers have been completing charity motorcycle runs in Stoke-on-Trent since December 1978. They were the first of their kind to set up such events and now, with over 30 years’ experience, they are the biggest charity motorcycle run organisers in the UK.
The charity runs consist of a parade of bikes followed by a fundraising event at the end. These fundraising events consist of trade stalls, static displays, face painting and a disco or live band. They are very much events for all the family to get involved in.
The Star Bikers complete Toy runs and Easter egg runs. Depending on which run they are completing, they bikers collect gifts of toys or Easter Eggs and other gifts from members of the public at the roadside on the way to the event destination. The donations are then distributed to local charity groups, hospitals, schools etc. in the Stoke-on-Trent area.
Any bikes can take part in the charity runs as long as they are road legal. Bikers like to dress up in seasonal outfits and decorate their bikes to make them look more spectacular as they perform their parade. There is no limit to the decorations as long as they are safe and will not cause injury.
As a guide, the Easter Egg Runs is usually held 2 weekends before Easter Sunday and the Toy Run is usually held on the 2nd Sunday before Christmas Day.
The Star Bikers and Stoke-on-Trent charity motorcycle run website is very informative on all information relating to the charity runs. It also has plenty of other information on how to become a volunteer/Marshall, press reports, fundraising and FAQs.
National Association for Bikers with a Disability (N.A.B.D)
The N.A.B.D was set up in 1991 by 6 bikers who couldn’t accept the idea that disabled people could not ride motorcycles, scooters or trikes.
The initial project was to find a way to adapt a motorbike for a rider who had suffered the amputation of his lower leg in an accident. A fundraising party was organised to publicise what these 6 bikers were trying to do. This party encouraged more disabled people to contact the group to see if they could be helped to ride again.
Within 12 months, the N.A.B.D had helped 3 disabled people adapt motorbikes to meet their requirements which enabled these people to ride independently again. It was a small beginning that has now led to the N.A.B.D being a world leader in the field of motorcycling for people with disabilities.
There are now 5000+ members of the N.A.B.D and in the 25 years since it began they have helped thousands of disabled people to enjoy the freedom and independence of motorcycling again.
All of the people who work for this charity do so as volunteers. Any donations from individuals, clubs and/or companies are used 100% for the benefit of the disabled riders. Without donations the N.A.B.D wouldn’t be able to exist and create so much of an impact on the lives of those that need their help.
The N.A.B.D website provides contact details for anybody who may need their services and also provides information on any grants or funding that may be available. There are also details of any fundraising events that may be coming up and information on how you can donate or set up a fundraising event for the charity yourself.
Motorcycle Outreach (MoR)
In developing countries, a high proportion of the populations are not getting the health services they are entitled to such as vaccinations, infant nutrition, blood sample collections and health education for mothers. This is because health ministry motorcycles and other vehicles used to deliver these services are not working or are not available at all.
When budgets are allocated, the need to repair, maintain or replace the vehicles is ignored. This is because the costs to fix them are too high and the damages occur too often due to very poor road conditions.
In many cases, this means that many easily preventative or easily curable diseases are never treated.
Motorcycle Outreach (MoR) ensures these vehicles do not breakdown and provide a dependable and sustainable health service to remote locations.
With effective vehicle management, the lifespan of vehicles are expected to double or triple no matter how bad the road conditions are. This means the vehicles will never be out of action having repairs and populations would receive the health services they are entitled to.
MoR is a voluntary organisation funded by donations from supporters and these donations are always welcome and greatly appreciated no matter how big or small. On average a £10 donation helps 10,000 people in a developing country.
The Air Ambulance services in the UK are provided by a mixture of organisations. These organisations operate helicopters or fixed-wing aircrafts to respond to medical emergencies and transport patients to, from, or between points of care.
Emergency Air Ambulances are generally helicopter based and are used to respond to emergencies in support of local road ambulance services. In the UK, all Air Ambulances are charitably funded with their crews generally seconded from the local NHS ambulance service.
There are annual motorcycle runs located throughout the UK to promote the work of the Air Ambulances and to raise money for this emergency service. Without these fundraising events and donations, the Air Ambulances would probably cease to exist which would result in loss of lives in situations where road ambulances are just not enough.
Essex Air Ambulance holds an annual Motorcycle Run that is combined with a family festival. The event is the biggest Essex Air Ambulance fundraising event each year. Over 5000 motorcyclists join the 60 mile ride from Ford Dunton in Laindon to Harwich. On Harwich Green, there is a free family festival including Motocross displays, live music, craft and community stands and children’s activities.
Devitt have been headline sponsors of the Motorcycle Run since 2014, helping to support their local community by raising money for the local Air Ambulance understanding how vital the service is for motorcyclists. All monies raised during this event are donated to Essex Air Ambulance.
Motorcyclists join East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) to complete a 75 mile sponsored motorcycle rideout and festival in memory of loved ones. This event is called ‘Ride to Remember’ and is all about raising vital funds for EAAA. It is encouraged that riders taking part gain personal sponsorship for their ride on top of their registration fee to raise as much money as possible. Following the rideout is a festival with live bands, biker jumble, children’s entertainment and refreshments. This event is a great day out for all the family.
The Devon Air Ambulance Trust (DAAT) holds an annual Motorcycle Ride Out to raise awareness for the work the trust does and promotes road safety. The Ride Out covers 83 miles on some of Devon’s finest roads and sees approximately 1000 riders taking part. The ride is marshalled by DAAT volunteers. At the end of the Ride Out, there will be entertainment and a variety of refreshments and trade stands. There is also a raffle with all the proceeds going to this charity.
Other Air Ambulance Services include London Air Ambulance, County Air Ambulance and the Great North Air Ambulance.
The BMF Foundation was set up in 2003 and is a charity designed to fund research and sponsor work to improve the life of the everyday motorcyclist. The BMF Foundation has a board of unpaid members and is totally independent from the BMF.
The BMF Foundation’s aims and objectives are:-
- Design, development and maintenance of roads
- The advancement of education into road safety
- Motorcycle design safety
- Design of protective clothing
- Causes and prevention of road accidents involving motorcycles
- Treatment of injuries
- Reduction of crime involving motorcycles
- Protection of the environment
- The sociological aspects of motorcycle use and transportation in general.
Fundraising is vital to the success of the BMF foundation and is the only way they can continue their research to complete the Foundations objectives. Without donations the BMF Foundation wouldn’t be able to organise and be part of motorcycling events, sponsored rides or fundraising events.
For more information on the history and work of the BMF Foundation, go to their website.
Riders for Health
Riders for health manage motorcycles, ambulances and other four-wheel vehicles used in the delivery of health care. The charity works to improve the access to health care for over 21 million people in 7 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Their programmes provide training and employment opportunities to locals. This means skilled local technicians can travel to service the vehicles rather than health care workers wasting time in a garage instead of being with their patients.
The health care workers driving these vehicles also receive training on how to complete daily checks on their vehicles. This is due to the difficult terrain they have to drive or ride on regularly in rural areas.
Without this reliable transport and training, the millions of pounds that are invested in vaccines, drugs, bed nets, condoms and trained health professionals will be wasted. This is because they will fail to get to where they are needed in time. Delivering health care on foot or by bicycle between sparse villages is exhausting and ineffective.
Riders for Health want to see a world where health care reaches everywhere. They believe they are able to achieve this goal because they are practical, enterprising and collaborative in everything we do.
The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) began in 1973 and is a volunteer led riders’ rights organisation. MAG campaigns to protect and promote motorcycling and the rights and interests of all riders, from learners to advanced.
Through the support of rallies and parties, sport and competitions, touring and travel MAG celebrates biking and the freedom and independence it provides.
The aims and the objectives of the Foundation are to promote motorcycling through research, representation and collaboration for public benefit. They also raise awareness of environmental road safety and security issues relating to the use of motorcycles and scooters.
Motorcycle theft is a big issue with riders and MAG works with other organisations to combat this problem. They have produced a booklet identifying secure parking throughout the country. This helps local councils to see what they need to do to make their neighbourhoods safer for motorbikes and ensures riders leave their bikes in the safest places possible when travelling.
The Foundation has sponsored a ‘Think Bike’ road safety campaign operated by local councils. This will help people to understand why the roads are such a vulnerable place for motorcyclists.
MAG’s future is dependent on young people taking up motorcycling so they can continue their research into making it safer in all aspects.