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

4 minutes read time

Movember is stoked 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 AUD $1.15m Distinguished Gentleman's Ride 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 six projects selected for further development right here in Australia:

  • Mind Moto – Putting the Cog in Cognition. Aimed at male motorcyclists of all ages, this initiative aims to build participants' skills and understanding of good motorcycling practices as well as give them new tools for their mental health toolbox and provide them with the confidence needed to deal with life’s challenges.
  • The Workshop Project targets men between 25-50 in urban areas. The project team is proposing to use an app to bring together motorcyclists in a safe and sustainable way to enable them to build friendships and local support around their shared passion for motorcycles.
  • Konnections, based at Melbourne’s Kustom Kommune DIY Motorcycle workshop, expands on the existing “We Kare” support program that targets middle-aged male motorcyclists. Konnections has proposed to bring in a dedicated team of health care professionals, mentors and volunteers for men in need of extra support.
  • Lost Motos aims to change the conversations that take place around motorcycles to empower men to develop meaningful and emotionally engaged relationships with others. The project will engage mental health professionals to upskill project leaders, provide Mental Health First Aid courses and hold Speak Easy nights.
  • Solace Garage is a mentor & support program that brings a wide variety of at-risk males of all ages together in a supportive community that shares a common interest in motorcycles. The project team aims to broaden the scope to include rider training, safe maintenance and modifications, and the potential to work with motorcycles as a job.
  • The Riders Project is an online video series, produced in partnership with the motorcycle community worldwide, which combines photography, audio interviews and music to create an authentic and compelling mental health story.

The other projects from around the globe are Project 'Team Building', Men Riding for Sustainability and Wellness, Riding to Recovery, Motorcycle Therapy,, The Turn, The Ride 2 Wise, Quay Rider, Bike Directory, Project Pit Stop, The Motorcycle Collective and Tinker, Talk & Tour.

The next phase will see grants of up to AUD $75,000 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."