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Riders for Health open new offices

Riders for Health open new offices

HRH The Princess Royal visited Northamptonshire on Thursday 15th October to help Riders for Health, the official charity of MotoGP, celebrate an exciting new phase in its development.

HRH The Princess Royal, who is patron of Riders for Health, officially opened the organisation’s new offices, and unveiled its ambitious goals to help thousands more African communities over the next four years on a visit to Northamptonshire.

In her address to guests, the Princess took the opportunity to drive home the link between poor transportation and a lack of development in Africa. Every year, billions of dollars continue to be invested in developing new drugs, vaccines and other simple measures to save lives – but without effective systems for delivering this health care to rural communities, the money is wasted and people continue to suffer needlessly. Looking forward to the exciting but challenging times ahead, the Princess unveiled Riders for Health’s plans to bring about a lasting solution to this problem.

Riders for Health (Riders) began work in 1989 when Northamptonshire couple, Barry and Andrea Coleman, founded the organisation on the kitchen table of their Norton home. Their aim was to remove the barrier that was stopping millions of people in Africa receiving the basic health care we take for granted – the lack of appropriate transport to deliver that care. Twenty years later, the organisation provides this critical ‘missing link’ by making sure African health workers have reliable vehicles which are managed and maintained by highly-trained local technicians so they can reach even the most isolated villages.

The organisation recently moved to new offices at Spring Hill Office Park, near Pitsford, after the successful expansion of its programmes meant it had outgrown its original home in Daventry. This new site for the UK resource centre will allow the organisation to support the lifesaving work of its teams in Africa as they reach more people than ever.

As well as marking the official opening of these new offices, the event also saw the culmination of Riders’ biennial Management Council. This two week conference brought together senior staff from the charity’s teams in Zimbabwe, the Gambia, Kenya, Lesotho and Nigeria, to map out the organisation’s goals and plans for the future.

Ngwarati Mashonga, Riders’ operations director said, “We have come a long way in the last 20 years, but sadly there are still too many communities in Africa for whom access to basic health care remains a distant dream. During the last two weeks our African and UK teams have come together and set ourselves some ambitious goals for the next four years – including expanding our work into another three countries by 2013. It is a real honour and privilege to have our patron, HRH The Princess Royal, with us today to help mark this next exciting phase in Riders’ work.”

Press release courtesy of Riders for Health

MotoGP, 2009

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