Bennetts Insurance reiterate their support for all sectors of the motorcycling community, through their partnership with ‘Mental Health Motorbike’.
Mental Health Motorbike is a free mental health support charity run by bikers for bikers. They are creating the country’s first free dedicated mental health support service for the biker community across the UK.
The hardworking team behind the Mental Health Motorbike charity, have created a national network of volunteers and stakeholders to help the mental well-being of UK bikers and reduce the number of bikers ending their lives by suicide. Founded in 2020, at the start of the pandemic, Mental Health Motorbike built a strong online community which then progressed to meeting riders at events, with the group having attended over ninety biker meetings and presentations already this year.
Their ‘Mental Health Checklist’ project (www.mhmotorbike.com/checklist) is one example of their innovative work and the aim is for motorcyclists to run through their own personal mind and body pre-ride checks, just like they should with their machine and riding kit. This approach means a proactive analysis about you, your bike and your body, before going out on a ride, which can help avoid accidents resulting in injuries or worse.
As part of their support, Bennetts insures the original branded Mental Health Motorbike’s flagship bike, a BMW R1200GS Adventure, which makes for a great talking point, and helps promote the group, through both the BikeSocial community and at live events such as the Bennetts British Superbike Championship. This bike has onboard a mental health first aider, mental health resources and a brew kit, so is ready to meet bikers anywhere!
The initiative’s founder Paul Oxborough explains the reasoning behind its formation; “After we lost my good friend Dale Caffery to suicide, I made a promise to try and help others suffering with poor mental health. I took part in a Mental Health First Aid course, and I thought it could translate well to fellow bikers who have an obvious community spirit, but equally may feel isolated at times.
During Covid we set ourselves a challenge to get 150 bikers through this 15 hour online course, which we did, and it created a really vibrant national network for when we could all start meeting up again post pandemic. There is now a very active peer support group of fellow bikers, which stands at 2,500 motorcyclists and runs 24 hours a day, helping people with their issues. We are also reaching tens of thousands of bikers through our social media channels.
We became a charity in 2021 and now aim to train 1,000 bikers in mental health first aid by December 2024. It’s not a cheap course, so did some intense fundraising to subsidise these fees. Having a partner, such as Bennetts, helps with our running costs and, through their BikeSocial programme, it helps us become more well known and enables us to meet more bikers at events. It means a lot to us as a small charity to get that support from a big brand who have a such a massive, vibrant motorcycle community in their own right.”