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 CAD $1.03m 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 three projects selected for further development right here in Canada:

  • Project ‘Team Building’ is aimed at building a community around newer riders who are passionate about motorcycles and have an interest in learning more about mechanics and customization. The project aims to bring people together to participate in virtual bike builds who would not have otherwise had an opportunity to make connections.
  • Men Riding for Sustainability and Wellness is an Alberta-based project that proposes to build an initiative that engages and encourages young male motorcycle riders to explore the environment, connect with each other, improve their mental well-being and increase their mental health literacy.
  • Riding to Recovery is a peer-support program for riders with mental health concerns. Through virtual courses such as “Motorcycle Maintenance 101,” or “Motorcycle Photography," participants learn the principles of recovery - connectedness, hope, autonomy, peer education and empowerment.

The other projects from around the globe are: Mind Moto - Putting the Cog in Cognition, The Workshop Project, Konnections, Lost Motos, Solace Garage, The Riders Project, 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 CAD $67,250 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."