Riders for Health closes down UK operations

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Official MotoGP charity Riders for Health have closed down their UK operations, shuttering their Northamptonshire offices and cutting staff. The charity has cited increasing costs as the reason for the move.

Speaking in a statement released today, they have however reiterated that the move will have no effect on their work in Africa.

“The past two years have been difficult financially for Riders for Health UK and we have been unable to secure enough income to cover our operating costs. Great efforts have been made to turn this situation around, reducing expenses, cutting the size of our UK team and assessing all possible ways forward, including exploring the opportunity for a partnership or merger. None of these has proved sufficient however to secure the long-term future of the UK office and as a consequence, the Riders board of trustees has taken the difficult decision to close.

“Despite this being a sad time for everyone associated with Riders UK, our priority has always been to safeguard Riders for Health’s programmes in Africa. Although the UK office will close, we are pleased to say that the Riders for Health’s programmes in Liberia, The Gambia, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Kenya and Malawi will continue, ensuring that vital healthcare continues to reach the remote African communities who so urgently need it.”

Riders is an charity that specialises in the management of vehicles for health care and other public services in conditions in which there is no widespread network of vehicle-maintenance facilities. Riders have programmes in Liberia, The Gambia, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Kenya and Malawi.

They manage over 1,700 vehicles and transform access to health care for 21.5 million people, and has been the official charity of MotoGP, with Randy Mamola helping to start the organisation in 1986.

There has been no confirmation as to what the news means for their much-anticipated annual charity event, the Day of Champions, at the British Grand Prix. However, it is believed that MotoGP bosses are keen to continue the event in some shape or form.

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer