Motorcycling youth charity prepares for biggest-ever fundraiser
A charity set-up to tackle kids using motorcycles anti-socially are preparing to host their largest-ever fundraising event, with live music, displays and a group rideout across the Yorkshire Dales.
The Richmondshire Area Motorcycle Project (RAMP) was founded by former PCSO Kevin Mason in February 2006 following daily callouts to deal with young people riding motorcycles illegally on public land.
"When we first started, we were getting called to an incident more or less every day," Mason, 71, told MCN. "Within 12 months of starting RAMP, the number went down to zero."
Running around eight £40 courses a year, for four Saturdays of tuition, the project allows young people aged between 13 and 19 to ride either a Honda CRF125 or CRF110 semi-auto on private land, giving proper training and the thrill of riding without committing a criminal offence.
The first three weeks of the school take place in the grounds of a school, with the fourth taking place on a dedicated off-road circuit. Pupils are then given a certificate of completion.
Known as the 'Manor RAMP Charity Meet', the fundraiser will take place on Saturday, September 14, at The Manor Farm Café, in Bellerby. Despite receiving some support from fellow charity, North Yorkshire Youth, RAMP relies on donations to continue running, with each member of the team volunteering their time to ensure the continuation of the project.
The money raised from this event will be spent on maintaining the motorcycles, as well as providing new protective kit for the riders. Other attractions include a raffle, refreshments and the opportunity to camp, should you want to make a night of it.
"When they finish the off-road section and we give them their certificates, it’s the smile on their faces that gets me every time," Mason added, "You can’t make it up, it’s fantastic."
Having now retired, Mason believes events like this are about more than the money, saying: "It’s about fund raising, but it’s also about getting RAMP in peoples' line of sight. It’s not just young people we interest, either. We also get adults who volunteer as instructors. There is no financial remuneration for any of us."