Adapted trike helping to fulfil dreams and bring back 'happy memories'
- Credit: Mick Howes
A charity serving South Norfolk and North Suffolk is revving up to provide more than 200 extra special rides this year.
After its start up had been interrupted by Covid-19 restrictions, a group of experienced bikers - including former Lowestoft doctor Keith Lightfoot - are providing a motorcycling experience for sick and disabled adults and children.
Originally inspired by a lad with a head injury, who loved motorbikes but never got a chance to ride on one, the 'Wish List Bikers’ group was set up in 2019.
Based near Beccles the group uses Dr Lightfoot’s German built factory-made Rewaco trike, which has been adapted to accommodate people with a variety of conditions.
Dr Lightfoot said: “The first ride took place in May 2019 with each passenger riding with a carer or responsible adult.
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"Powered with a Nissan Cherry 1200cc car engine, the charity carried out 42 rides in 2019, each lasting from 20 minutes to two hours, before operations stopped due to covid restrictions and the vulnerability of most of our passengers.
"The trike is driven like a car but gives a motorbike/trike experience."
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Treasurer Alex Knell said: "The small team of three trustees, four riders and eight back up members, began to start operating as well as gaining registered charitable incorporated organisation status.
"Passengers have been both children and adults and have come from the Otium Centre in Oulton, from residential homes as well as individuals.
"One lady with terminal cancer requested a ride because her late husband was a keen biker and she used to ride pillion.
"Doctors gave permission for her to come and she was in tears as the ride brought back happy memories.
"Recently East Suffolk Council's enabling committee gave us money to help to get over the Covid precautions and at a presentation in front of the council offices East Suffolk councillor Edward Back has given a £2638 grant from his locality budget, while chairman of East Suffolk Council councillor Keith Robinson said the Wish List Bikers are the chairman’s charity for the year."
The latest funding has bought 10 new, easily-sanitised helmets, a Sat-Nav for travel, Dash-cam for security, with a rear-facing camera to record passengers' experiences as a memento of their ride.