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Hi everyone wow! what a rollercoaster!

It has been an awesome, scary, interesting and challenging time at the Mental Health Motorbike HQ (MHM). But we feel as though we are finally getting to grips with the services and support we are offering the biker community, we just didn't realise was how busy we would be so early on!! What is really positive is the way others are supporting the organic growth of this organisation. From new sponsors and members becoming moderators to people making donations. It all helps build a much needed organisation from the ground upwards that members own. Jay, Paul and the team want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making some magic happen. Let's not forget the reason we have set this up... ultimately it is to stop people taking their own lives, to support people in crisis and to create a community that cares about each other, a community that can offer opportunities to break the cycle people find themselves spiralling within. The good news is we are making a huge difference so early on. Enjoy this update and once again thanks for your awesome support best regards from the MHM Team.

Social media update

Facebook Page - We now have nearly 1300 followers on the www.facebook.com/mhmotorbike page please keep sharing and get the message out there that we are open for business despite what the virus throws at us. The 'send message' button takes you to our online 1-1 chat facility. If you know someone who is struggling point them to this.

The MHM (members only) Facebook support group now has 300 members regularly engaging in peer support of other members by actively discussing mental health issues. We now have 6 experienced moderators managing this group and this is making a huge difference. Some incredible results and stories of it really making a difference are being shared with us. If you are a biker of part of the biker community why not join this caring and supportive group? Mental Health Motorbike Group

Instagram - finally we have got our account sorted with 2-3 posts a week going on there, the numbers are growing nicely (220 followers). More time will be invested into developing our 'Insta' presence this over the next few months.

Twitter - We realised this is where many of the big companies are posting so we need to be making them more aware of who we are, why we exist and what we do. So we are getting more involved with tweets. www.twitter.com/mhmotorbike

Sponsor News

SD Motorcycles Chesterfield (www.sdmotorcycles.co.uk)
This family bike business in Derbyshire supports the running of the mental Health Motorbike (MOT, servicing etc.) and were the very firsts sponsors of the project. Great range of bikes and services for all types of biker - check them out!

Bennetts Insurance (www.bennetts.co.uk)
This is a new sponsor and we are exploring best they can help us develop as our capacity grows. They are currently looking to insure the Mental Health Motorbike, assisting with branding and general marketing of what we do. It is a great endorsement to have such a company helping us from the start.

Anonymous Donor
A very generous donor has paid for a years subscription to enable the live one to one chat function to run from the website. It means we can be more accessible when we aren't in the office. You can also make a donation at: https://mhmotorbike.com/donations

Silent sponsor from Derbyshire
A tyre company from Derbyshire are providing the tyres as and when we need them for the Mental Health Motorbike. This takes huge amount of pressure on keeping the bike on the road. The tyres are being supplied from the company through SD Motorcycles.

Seaways Cafe (www.seawayscafe.co.uk)
Mike Thatcher at Seaways has pledged his support to run some Mental Health First Aid training over at Seaways Cafe. This is a very strategic location getting 1000's of bikers a week through the doors. If you are ever in need of a cuppa and some tasty food visit them.

Glaramara Hotel (www.glaramarahouse.co.uk)
Set in one of the nicest locations in the country, David Oaglethorpe has transformed this former outdoor education hostel into a beautiful hotel with a stunning single/double and twin ensuite rooms. Perfectly suited to the bikers travelling through the Lake District who want some affordable quality. David will host some Mental Health First Aid Training in 2021.


If you want to become a sponsor and an early investor into our future success please visit www.mhmotorbike.com/sponsors complete the form and a member of the team will be in touch

Induction training course for volunteers

We now have over nearly 60 registered volunteers all looking to offer something back to the MHM. Firstly we want to say thank you for showing an interest. Over the next few weeks we will be meeting people to look at developing a 2 hour online induction course. The course will be fun, interactive and really bring you up to speed with the different roles and opportunities with MHM. It will explore our code of conduct, do some simple due diligence checks, explain more about what we do and welcome you into this amazing organisation. 

Remember, if you want to register an interest to work with us, receive these bulletins  and keep up to speed with opportunities register at: www.mhmotorbike.com/volunteer

 

The MHM Foundation

Some of you may have heard us talk about the Mental Health Motorbike foundation. This is something that we will be rolling out to more people longer term as our capacity grows. But in a nutshell it is a chance for members to apply for support to take on a life changing project that will help with their long-term well-being. We are currently testing the model with a couple of group members, their feedback will allow us to share case studies and ensure we can deliver a quality service in the future. The foundation allows us to work with organisations, individuals and companies who can pledge their support in the form of time, human resources, products or finances. As you can imagine this is very ambitious and relies on people believing in the concept enough to pledge their support, we are really excited about this, so watch this space as this initiative grows. 

To find out more visit: www.mentalhealthmotorbike.org.uk/foundation

If you want to pledge visit: www.mhmotorbike.com/pledge

Remember if you pledge we might never call on the pledge but it will reassure others if your company is on a list of supporters.

New Branding 

As you can see we have had a rebrand and we will be using the two logos based around The Mental Health Motorbike and MHM. These will be on everything representing our brand, we are really excited as we can now get the bike sorted and lots of merchandise produced which will be for sale in a new online shop on the website over the summer. We will also have a pop up shop whenever we do events. So lots of opportunities coming up for our volunteers.

Let us know your thoughts and what merchandise you would like to see: comments@mhmotorbike.com

Mental Health First Aid Training

5 venues across the UK have offered us their support to host mental health first aid training for our members. The locations would be in 

  • Glaramara Hotel, Keswick, Cumbria
  • Seaways Cafe, North Yorkshire
  • Chaos Community, Cornwall
  • Holmewood & Heath Healthy Futures Project, Derbyshire
  • Potential bikers cafe in Scotland (awaiting further discussions) 

If you are interested in becoming a mental health first aider you can register an interest with us and we will let you know after lockdown when the next course in your area will be.

Register an interest here here: https://mhmotorbike.com/mhfa

Fundraising

Our biggest challenge is how we afford to run a voluntary organisation like the MHM. At the moment all the investment has come from Paul and Jay using private money to set this up and run. Both of them have businesses which have been seriously impacted by the Corona virus. So it becomes vital to develop a business plan that gives the organisation a solid financial footing. Over the next few months we will be applying for various government funds to create mental health support services and wellbeing activities. This will enable us to start building the team to create greater opportunities, courses, events and help us take the MHM to the next level.

Invest in the future of the MHM 

A way you might want to get involved in making what we do a success short term is to become a friend of MHM. the is a scheme where you gift through direct debit a small amount (between £1-£10 a month (on a direct debit) to allow the organisation to function. The belief is if a large amount of people give a small amount an organisation like this can be maintained. 

All money collected in this way will be earmarked to pay for the administration and running costs, support for volunteers attending events, running of the 1-1 chat facility etc. this money will not pay for any staff wages. At the moment all staff are doing this completely voluntary. But as the organisation grows we will look to employ people. Funding for this will come from elsewhere. 

More information on the scheme will be announced in the near future.

Virtual Ride Outs

Since lockdown started we have had 10 really enjoyable ride outs with members meeting to share stories of their week, virus coping strategies and engage in fun and lighthearted chats together. The ride outs normally last for 1 hour and are on a Sunday or Thursday evenings at 7pm. Information can be found in the events section on the Facebook page. It has been a great way to get to know our awesome members and from time to time we introduce guest speakers with something to share. Thanks everyone who had been involved for making these so enjoyable.

www.facebook.com/mhmotorbike/events

Future Events & Activities

We are so pleased to start pencilling in dates for events and "actual" Rideouts in 2021. A sense of normality is gradually returning and we can’t wait to get out to see our friends and support them at future activities. If you know of any good events you think MHM should be involved in please email us at events@mhmotorbike.com

News from the team...

Paul Oxo

What can I say lockdown has been one of the busiest periods of my life. Working on a community cleanup initiative to get people exercising, reestablishing my main business which has taken a battering due to the virus, developing the MHM and surviving lockdown with my family. At times the thought of my employment stopping has been difficult and paralysing, but each day I meet people with bigger issues than mine. I realise the MHM is becoming more and more important to me and something we have to develop further. It has been a privilege to spend lockdown online with so many interesting members of the MHM - here's to the future, bigger, better, stronger!!!

Jay Lucas

The past few weeks have been really exciting and running at full pace. Barely a free moment in a day, something I need to keep an eye on. Along with Paul, I have been busy working on prototyping our foundation process with a live applicant. This has led to some amazing offers of support by individuals (names to be revealed later) from within the MHM group and its wider community. To completely honest the level of selfless support of our awesome community and the gratitude shown by our applicant has swept me off my feet, it is mind blowing. Kindness still exists folks.

Outside of the MHM bubble the work continues.
As with many other contractors, small business owners and those who are self employed, paid work paused during the lockdown. I am pleased to report an innovation project I was working on has resumed which provides some comfort in these challenging times. But more importantly a wellbeing based startup my partner in Australia and I created during the lockdown is starting to look like a real business. The first prototyping round has had a positive impact on users and the feedback has been outstanding. With the above in mind I will sign off with this quote

"We are all faced with a series of great opportunities, brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems"

Andy Elwood

Lockdown has been tough for all sorts of reasons. Lately though, things have been coming good.
I’ve been supporting 999 services and our wonderful NHS with online resources & have really enjoyed the virtual ride outs I’ve been able to join with MHM. Being creative has been a real help for me personally as I’m really missing my classic Land Rover project.

I’ve really enjoyed trying new things, including learning to draw, making short films and even building Lego for the first time since I was a boy. Work has been very up and down. Right now I'm really excited about delivering my first online Mental Health First Aid course. I’m looking forward to the future and getting out there again.

Charlotte Oxborough

The last few weeks have been crazy for us all and with The Mental Health Motorbike presence growing day by day, being part of the social media team has just been extraordinary! 

In my day to day life I’m the digital marketing manager for an agriculture company that makes food for cows, so quite a leap from the wild life of motorbikes and revving engines!
 
Right now, being digital is more important than ever whilst we’re all at home and isolated from one another. It’s been a joy to be able to take what I know and help MHmotorbike discover people who might need that little bit of extra support during these difficult times. Make sure you come and say hi, Instagram is my favourite platform so you’ll probably find me there! 
 

Adrian 'Weeble' Rigden - Mental Health Motorbike Moderator

I wouldn't say that I suffer from anxiety or depression, I wouldn't say that I have ever been a person who has needed help in any sort of way. Lockdown has changed those perceptions. I have come to realise that, although I have never been diagnosed with any mental health issues, I do, in fact, live a work life that I need to change as it was affecting how I felt about myself and how I was interacting with my family.

The guys at MHM have given me the added stimulus to make the steps to change my work life balance. Without realising it, I had been using my doodles as an escape. I sketched at work during periods of quiet or while I was waiting on machines. MHM has allowed me to take that escapism and materialise it into something which, I hope, will change my life and other peoples.

Watch this space as MHM and Weeble's World go from strength to strength .

 

And finally for your eyes only...

You may of noticed the illustrations from the above very talented Adrian 'Weeble' Rigden. So here is a special unique illustration has created for this newsletter... enjoy!

Look our for Adrian's new Weeble's World website and a feature on this talented friend of MHM coming soon.


 

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