Preston O'Brien and John Shepherd from The Motorcycle Collective
Every Sunday Motorcycle CollectiveImage by: Tony Drayton
Preston O'Brien and John Shepherd from The Motorcycle Collective
Adam and Fawad from Project Team Building
Mike from Project Pit Stop
Mind Moto
Jessica and Glenn from The Workshop Project
Jethro, Michael & Teresa
16 September 2020

First phase of funding announced for DGR Social Connections Challenge

3 minutes read time

Movember is delighted to announce the projects selected to take part in the first phase of the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride Social Connections Challenge, which is aimed at improving the mental health and wellbeing of motorcyclists.

The USD $779,000 DGR Social Connections Challenge is using funds raised by the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride (DGR) community to support ideas that will improve the social connectedness, life satisfaction and mental wellbeing of motorcycle riders.

A total of 18 projects from across Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US have now been awarded funding that will help them to develop and test their idea.

Take a look at the four projects selected for further development right here in the US:

  • Motorcycle Therapy targets middle-aged motorcycle riders from any branch of the armed services who are in active duty, retired or veterans. The program in Colorado, US, aims to open up opportunities to experience different types of motorbiking without the risk of financial commitment. Small build groups encourage natural friendships to form along with riding activities to encourage and promote participants' ability to tackle their personal challenges.
  • aims to create a motorcycle map to connect riders, between the ages of 25-35, with local events, destinations and riding buddies. Many riders leave and come back to the hobby, move to a new city, or simply struggle with the social anxieties to connect with other local enthusiasts. The goal is to break down those barriers to entry and help riders plug into the thriving moto communities in their own backyards.
  • The Turn is aimed at male riders of all ages and will engage with the NYC motorcycle community to provide a year-round program that focuses on fostering community and tackling mental health issues.
  • The Ride 2 Wise series of short films aims to address the ways in which men communicate and share personal stories, allowing them to be vulnerable in a setting that is familiar to them. Older bikers have life experience to share with younger riders and it is hoped that the films will lead to transformational conversations, build relationships and strengthen social connections.

The next phase will see grants of up to USD $50,600 allocated to a maximum of 10 of the most promising projects, enabling them to be delivered in pilot format.

Movember's Global Director of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Brendan Maher, said:

“We have been extremely impressed with the ingenuity and ambition of the ideas we have received for the DGR Social Connections Challenge.

“We know that people who are satisfied with their relationships and social connections are more likely to enjoy good mental health and wellbeing. However, riding can be inherently isolating, which is why we’re looking to find new ways to help motorcyclists create stronger connections with each other.

“We’re excited about working with these partners to bring their ideas to life and create programs that will make a real difference to the mental health and wellbeing of the men in these communities.”

Founder of The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, Mark Hawwa, said:

"When we launched the DGR Social Connections Challenge, we called out to our community to encourage their ideas to produce innovative and inspiring programs that will help men in motorcycling build positive social connections.

"We have been humbled by the incredible applications that we received, and are proud to be able to guide these concepts and help them grow into real-life programs that will benefit the mental health of men within the motorcycling community."