Back in April you may recall we published an article about a charity called The Nick Brisland Trust. The fund was set up in memory of Nick Brisland, a 19-year-old motorcyclist who was killed when a driver pulled out in front of him in April 2015.
Led by Nick’s mother Ria, they have been campaigning to increase motorcycle awareness in the driving test, as well as raising money to put defibrillators in biker cafes and accident black spots around the UK. Last week saw the first unit installed at Loomies Moto Cafe in West Meon, Hampshire.
We met up with Ria Brisland (pictured above centre) at Loomies to find out more. She said: “I would just start by saying I am so grateful to everyone that signed the petition and made it impossible for the powers that be to ignore it. Thank you. I still receive daily emails from people who have lost someone due to negligent road users. It’s so very sad and frustrating as most of these accidents could have easily been avoided. It needs to stop. I have many plans to help raise awareness. One of them is to go into schools and teach young children how to look out for other vulnerable road users. When I met with the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) they thought this was a great idea too and were happy to support it. The meeting was very encouraging I felt completely listened to and understood. We plan to meet again soon and discuss the end result. Alongside the petition we started raising money for defibrillators in April. With the help of a lot of people, we raised enough for our first one. It truly was a moment of sheer joy when I pulled into Loomies today and saw it on the wall. The guys from HQ Electrical were finishing up and I couldn’t help smile at what we’ve all managed to achieve. Without regular funding this is not something we are going to be able to do quickly, but rather as an ongoing project, one I am determined to see through. I hope it will save lives and prevent other families going through the same thing as mine. Nick would be very proud of all of us and this makes me happy.”
Ria has also taken a trip to Cardington in Befordshire, where motorcycle instructors are examined, spending time with chief examiner Mark Winn to discuss how future generations of road users will be safer. Her petition to increase motorcycle awareness in the driving test was presented to Transport Minister Chris Grayling and the message was clear “change is needed and we won’t stop until effective changes have been put in place to make everyone safer on the roads.”
Ria shows no intention of slowing down, with ideas flowing for more events that can be held throughout the winter months and the idea of a possible change to the annual memorial ride-out held every year in Nick’s memory. There are plans to have a second defibrillator installed at Portsdown Hill, another of Nick’s favourite destinations.
The annual memorial ride out is held in April every year and the next one falls on Sunday the 21st April 2019, with Ria planning to ride herself for the first time. All proceeds raised go directly to the charity and solely used for the counseling and defibrillator causes.
To donate, visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/nickbrisland