It’s crazy to think that despite my book being launched in early 2020, this week I did my first proper book signing courtesy of Mental Health Motorbike. The A4 show card and roll-up banner were still unused and fresh out of the box. After all the troubles with a global pandemic, it felt good to fulfil my original intent and finally draw a line under it all.
Way back when. The Mental Health Motorbike journey…
It is fitting that I was with Mental Health Motorbike at Motorcycle Live. This is a journey that I started in March 2020 when I was fully expecting to be sitting behind a stack of books in any given store, scribbling my name inside the cover. I wanted to have a charity to support and it was most likely fate that I saw what was probably the very first social media post from the newly formed, and not yet a charity, Mental Health Motorbike.
I met up with Paul Oxborough on a cold afternoon after a meeting with my publisher. We bounced a few ideas off each other and quickly worked out that we could help each other. I can’t remember what we even discussed but Paul sat scribbling notes. Perhaps he still has them. It was not long after that when we were all told to stay at home because of the virus.
It was some time after that when Mental Health Motorbike, after tremendous effort, became a fully-fledged charity. This validation captured the attention of the industry who then acknowledged the provision of a growing mental health support network.
Late to the book signing party
And so we fast forward to Motorcycle Live 2022. As one of a large team of volunteers at the event, I was donating and signing books. Sat on a large stand and in a prominent position next to Honda. Only two and a half years late to the party but box now ticked.
It was a great time to be there. The Bennetts British Superbike Championship had just announced a new partnership with the Mental Health Motorbike charity and support was coming in from the likes of The 1000cc Club and OMG Racing among others.
The focus is now to continue to expand the support network with further training of Mental Health First Aiders. The MHFA1000 commitment aims to train 1000 first-aiders by the end of 2024. This includes race marshalls who have been identified for the work they do, and the unfortunate events they have to witness.
If you think you can get involved then head over to the website. You can sign up for the newsletter and read about the opportunities available.