Sep 28, 2012

Chairmans Chunk - Autumn 2012


I have a sneaky feeling that, in addition to a lot of ludicrous proposals about motorcycle legislation, the mindless bean counters working for the European parliament may well have pulled a sneaky fast-one on us and put us all on a metric time-keeping system.  I have no empirical evidence to back-up these misgivings but one thing I am certain of is that there no longer seems to be as many hours in a day or as many days in a week!

Even with the lighter evenings of British ‘summertime’ (sic) I don’t seem to be able to keep up with everything I need to get done.  Maybe it’s a sign of encroaching old age…?
No!  It’ll be those damned Eurocrats, you mark my words!
Well at least I have finished my thirty-two pages of the Open House on time!  Not that I really had any choice as I’m going away in two days time.
 
Open House:
Dare I say it?  Things seem to be going very well after the ups and downs of the last few years.  The folks at Red Hen Promotions have been doing a marvellous job of the final repro work and selling the advertising space.  In fact I’ve got my fingers crossed that this issue may be the one where we see the start of some income from the magazine rather than just covering production costs.
The cost of posting the Open House magazine to members and affiliates reached an all-time high with issue 69 but now, thanks mainly to the efforts of Graham Swain (Vice Chairman) and Julie Williams (Office Manager), we have a new account set up with the post office that is saving approximately 25% of that cost. 
Another great bug-bear relating to Open House has always been the need to find a group of volunteers to put them into envelopes and stick on address labels etc.  Thankfully this is now a thing of the past due to a new deal we have with the printers where they poly-bag and post the majority of them out for us.
We are still actively pursuing some way of getting recompense from A2B Media Ltd (the company who bounced £11,500 in cheques after producing five issues of Open House and a year planner).  But as neither the police nor the Trading Standards have any interest in pursuing a company that rip-off registered charities for large amounts of money, we are left to find other options.  If and when we find a practical solution I will let you know.
 
You’ve Been Nabbed 21:
Our national rally in May did not sell out in advance as it had the previous three years.  Unfortunately this problem seems to be endemic with all rallies lately.  As the recession bights deeper, people just have less money to spend and, despite the YBN rally being the best value-for-money event on the rally calendar, we were left with a couple of hundred tickets.  For those who did make it to the event I think t fair to say it was a fantastic affair.  The atmosphere on site was joyous and despite some very poor weather prior to the event we were blessed with a relatively dry three days to enjoy ourselves in excellent company with some of the best entertainment we have ever featured at an NABD event.
YBN21 Badges:
The badges for this year’s rally seemed to sell out much faster than anticipated and as we are aware that many folk like to collect one every year we have had another limited number made for those who didn’t get the chance to get one.  They cost £3.00 plus 50p for postage and packing.  As we have a £5.00 minimum order level for sales by credit card, those of you just wanting a badge would be best sending a cheque or postal order for £3.50 made out to NABD.
 
Autumn Nabd’ness:
Our September rally in Oxfordshire is all proceeding to plan.  Tickets are on sale via www.nabd.org.uk or by phoning 0844 415 4849.  There is a report in this issue on last year’s event to give you an idea of what an excellent event it is.  I urge all members to make the effort to attend if possible.  Who knows, we may even get some sunshine by then?
Sponsor a Barrel of Ale at Autumn Nabd’ness
Following on from the success of this aspect of sponsorship at previous You’ve Been Nabbed and Autumn Nabd’ness events, we have decided to offer the option again at Autumn Nabd’ness 2012 in our hugely popular Real Ale Bar. 
For a mere £75.00 sponsors can have their name on a barrel of ale, they will also be included in the sponsors list and receive a laminated ‘Certificate of Sponsorship’ from the NABD.  If you are in a club, why not propose that they sponsor a barrel?  If you are self-employed and you pay tax, why not sponsor a barrel yourself?  Promotional expenses and charitable donations can all be written off against tax.  If you work for a company, why not talk to your boss about it?  It’s very good publicity and it has to feel better than handing your money over to the Tax Man!
There are full details in this issue, but if I’ve already convinced you; e-mail office@thenabd.org.uk or telephone 0844 415 4849 and we will let you have a simple form to fill in.  (There is a full-page advert/application form in this magazine, but don’t tear it out, just phone or e-mail the office if you want one).
 
 
National Prize Draw 2012:
Enclosed with this magazine you should find a book of five prize draw tickets.  The first prize is an original painting of a rally scene based on the NABD events, which even has NABD patron Billy Connolly featured amongst the figures on the painting.  Well-known Scottish artist Alan Lees has donated paintings to charities before and the last one sold for over £3,000.00.  You can see more info about his work at: http://scotlandsartists.com/pages/artists_detail.php?recordID=54 or http://www.affordablebritishart.co.uk/gallery.php?aid=252 .  At just one pound per ticket, we all have the opportunity to have an equal chance of owning an original painting by a hugely talented professional artist.  Personally I would love to have this painting on my wall but as the official promoter of the draw I am the only bugger not allowed to perticipate.
The other prizes are not to be sniffed at either.  The second prize is £200.00 in cash and the third prize is a booze hamper.
All you have to do is fill-in the ticket stubs with your name, address and contact number and post them back to the office with a cheque or postal order for five quid.  If you can’t afford the fiver, you could sell some of the tickets to your friends or neighbours.  If you think you can sell more tickets to help the NABD then email office@thenabd.org.uk or phone 0844 415 4849 and we’ll post you some more out. 
 
Committee Changes:
Early in 2012 Gary Seddon announced his intention to retire from his post of NABD Adaption Grant Coordinator at the 2012 AGM, unless a suitable replacement became available before then.  As luck would have it we had a worthy volunteer in the form of Tracey Browne (Well known singer/songwriter and all-round “Luvvy Darling” of show biz).
Tracey and Gary have collaborated to make the transition as smooth as possible and the administration of NABD grant applications is now firmly in her hands.  Gary has now reverted to his prior post of “Projects Coordinator” though he remains available when needed to help out with technical enquiries and of course to be in charge of shouting and pointing on the NABD’s main rallies.
Gary has done sterling and all to often-thankless work as the Adaption Grant Coordinator for the past few years and I believe we all owe him a great vote of thanks for it.
I would also like to take this opportunity to offer Tracey Browne an official hearty welcome to the bear pit.
 
Sad News:
It is “the nature of the beast” in a disabilities group like ours that we suffer the loss of friends and colleagues all too often. 
In March this year we were informed of the death of Kay Heward-Meadow.  Kay had been the National Secretary of the NABD for several years before moving to the Isle of Man with her husband Vic who had been our Adaptions Coordinator.  Kay had helped the NABD get over a particularly tough time at the turn of the millennium and even after her return to the Isle of Man she was always a stalwart advocate of the NABD even when her health deteriorated.  All who knew her will miss her and I know she will always have a special place in the hearts of those who served on the NABD National Committee with her.
In April we had the sad news of the death of veteran NABD member Malcolm Frost from Stoke On Trent.  He was seventy years old when he died and had never lost the love of motorcycling.  Malcolm had been a member and active supporter of the NABD for seventeen years. 
Toward the end of April we had the shocking news of the unexpected death of Putti Chouhan of The Biker’s Gearbox.  Putti died suddenly from a massive heart attack.  He was a familiar face at motorcycle events throughout the UK and much loved and respected by those who knew him.  He had always loved motorcycles from being a youngster and he made a point of supporting the NABD and MAG with sponsorship at events.  Putti and I had become good friends over the years and his death came as a huge shock.  It still feels strange to me not having the craic with him at events and I think it is likely too for some time to come.  Putti was the youngest of four brothers and when I attended his funeral the day before the YBN21 rally it was plain to see how devastated they, and the rest of his family are.
Each of these people have earned a place in may hearts and each has an honoured place in the history of the NABD.  Our hearts go out to their families and loved ones.
 
Good News:
In issue 69 of Open House I had the sad duty of announcing the temporary suspension of the NABD grants system and publishing a copy of an appeal letter we had sent out to the press.  I am now very pleased to announce that the NABD grants system is fully up-and-running once again and the following press release has been issued to that effect:
 
A Big Thank You From The NABD
 
In December 2011 I had the painful duty of writing a press release announcing the suspension of the NABD Adaption Grant system.
In essence demand had outstripped resources and in the first seven months of the 2011-2012 financial-year we had already awarded more than £74,000 in grants, which was more than the previous record for any full financial-year.
I am now very pleased to announce that the NABD grants system is now up-and-running once again, thanks to an upsurge in support from clubs, individuals and companies, following the publication of that press release.
At the June meeting of the NABD trustees grants were awarded to help 14 disabled riders to adapt bikes and/or trikes totalling just over £10,000.
We have also now restructured the grants system so that it should never again have to be suspended.
There is still something of a backlog in applications but these will be dealt with in the order they were received and it is our hope that, with the continued support of bikers, we should have cleared that backlog by September.
I would like once again to assure all supporters that 100% of every donation is used solely to fund adaption grants.  Not one penny is taken for running costs or wages.  This is a fact that is easily checked because as a Registered Charity our accounts are made publicly available every year via the Charities Commission and they show that in the over the last decade we have awarded almost £35,500 more in grants than we have received in donations (the difference being funded by our own direct fund raising events etc.)
 
The NABD has helped more than 10,000 disabled bikers in its 21 years of existence and it is only with the continued support of bikers that we will be able to continue this work. 
How can you help?
If your club is having a party, why not make it a fund-raiser for the NABD?  Why not ask your local bikers pub to run a raffle or a party to raise funds for the NABD?  Or you could simply become a member of the NABD for £20.00 (you don't have to be disabled to join and support our aims).  You can also buy “NABD supporter” patches and other NABD merchandise via the shop on www.nabd.org.uk
We also have Autumn Nabd’ness rally (Oxfordshire, September 7th – 9th) tickets for sale via www.nabd.org.uk or by calling 0844 415 4849
 
The NABD is the biker’s charity and bikers are the only people who make it all work.
 
Donations can be sent to: NABD, Unit 20, The Bridgewater Centre, Robson Avenue, Urmston, Manchester, M41 7TE.  Or you can donate on line www.nabd.org.uk or by phone 0844 415 4849
 
The NABD is a biker's charity run by bikers for bikers.
 
Rick Hulse
NABD Chairman
 
Well, they say it’s always good to end on a high note so that’s it from me. 
Hopefully we will finally see some summer before the next issue is due.  In the meantime remember that without rain we would never have beer, so count your blessings.
 
Rick