Dear bikers and friends alike,
It is with sadness that I have to inform you that the National Youthbike Charity is going to close as soon as we can conclude our business. This includes selling our display trailer and some smaller items. Once all the bills have been paid, we will start to distribute the residual finances to groups that are working with young people especially those that are involved with motorcycling.
National Youthbike was started twenty-five years ago, and its name then was the National Youth Custom Bike Building Competition. This name was too cumbersome, so it was changed to National Youthbike and at this stage it was registered with the Charity Commission and had a constitution formally accepted. Thank you Wendy Coy for the hard work that you did for the charity.
Over the twenty-five years we estimated that we have worked with at least five thousand young people from all over England, Wales, and Scotland. At one time we were approached by a group in Iceland who wanted permission to start up a group there based on our model. One event that we were very proud off and that was a full programme on television was dedicated to a National Youthbike Finals Weekend. This is still available on YouTube for all to watch.
Over the past few years, we have seen the numbers of groups wanting to take part in our scheme dwindle to a few per year. This has been due to pressure being put onto schools to concentrate on academic subjects and at the same time, being squeezed financially. Also, at this time government cuts to local authorities have meant that they have cut the funding for Youth services, which was never a statutory provision. All over the UK, youth clubs have been closed and professionally qualified youth workers were made redundant.
We would not have lasted for twenty-five years if it was not for the support of a number of motorcycling organisations. These include MAG, BMF, The Christian Motorcycling Association. Too many motorcycle clubs to mention here. However, a couple do come to mind. West London Harley-Davidson Riders Club, The Shim Whittlers motorcycle club. Our thanks go out to all these Groups. One company that has helped the charity is the Fat Skeleton biker gear company. Thanks, Paul and your staff. Like so many other motorcycling based organisations National Youthbike organised its own Rally. This was both a fund raiser and a way of getting publicity for the charities work. Peter and Jane and the team at Cabourne Parva allowed us to take advantage of their superb event site to host the Fat Skeleton Blues and Bikes Weekends. For this we are most grateful.
One thing that we ought to mention is that a group that was an offspring of the National Youthbike charity was Warrington Wheels which was very successful in that area.
Over the twenty-five years, not one of the trustees and volunteers have been paid and in the majority of cases have paid their own expenses to get to events to bring publicity to the charity. My thanks go out to all our trustees, both present and past, for their hard work and dedication.
I would like to thank all the group leaders who spent thousands of hours helping young people to create some wonderful motorcycle creations. In this section I would like to give my gratitude to all trustees both past and present for the many hours that they have given over the years. Lastly, I would like to pay my respects to the young people who took part in Youthbike projects and stayed the course to complete their creations.
Thank you to our web-master Spen for helping us techno-phobes keep the website going.
A.E.Nightingale Chairman of the National Youthbike Charity.
A.E.Nightingale BA, Dip Y.C. IBBA
August 16, 2021
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