Derek has an acquired brain injury, which he sustained in a serious motorcycle accident when he was 20 years old.

With a milestone birthday coming up, his support workers wanted to do something extra special for him.

Despite the accident, Derek is still passionate about motorbikes – especially the older models.

Tanya started asking passing bikers if they knew of any local bike clubs where someone had a sidecar that Derek could ride along in.

She then decided to post on Facebook.

Rosemary, who is a member of a few motorcycle groups and lives in Saltash, heard about the idea from her friends.

She got in touch and they started to plan the trip.

As Derek has some difficulties walking, they arranged to meet up a week before his birthday to figure out the best way for him to get in and out of the sidecar.

Tanya said:

He absolutely loves motorbikes – he can tell you everything about them.

When Rosemary came, he had the biggest smile on his face. You could tell that he was going to get in there no matter what.

On the morning of his birthday, Rosemary took Derek in her sidecar to Saltash Leisure Centre, where there were 13 other bikers ready to escort him to his celebrations!

Rosemary’s sidecar and Derek’s cake

Rosemary said:

Everybody that was made aware of it wanted to join in to make it extra special so we ended up with a small procession.

We usually get called upon to celebrate people’s lives when they pass away, so it was wonderful to see the joy on Derek’s face.

I told him I’ll do it again next year if he’s up for it.

The convoy rode around Saltash, finishing at the Ashtorre Café where the bikers had arranged for refreshments including a birthday cake shaped like a bike and sidecar.

Derek’s special bike-themed cake

Derek’s family and some of our staff were also there to join in the fun and watch him cut his cake.

Tanya said:

I love my job and it’s a really good thing to keep people we support doing the things they like. There’s no reason that someone’s disability should stop them.

Especially for Derek – he doesn’t see himself as somebody with a brain injury.

We knew he wouldn’t be able to go on a bike again but he was still able to experience something with a bike. It was absolutely amazing.

This content is part of our Christmas2021 series.

  • Jenna Lloyd is Digital Content Officer for United Response

Your donations help fund our support services so people like Derek can experience magical moments with motorbikes, museums and much more.

Help us bring some sparkle to the people we support this Christmas

Your donation will have a huge impact on the lives of the people we support.

  • £25 could pay for an hour of job coach support to help someone with autism into a job
  • £50 could supply tools such as a wheelbarrow for one of our horticulture projects such as Boscawen Farm in Truro, or our allotments in Bristol and Blackpool
  • £100 could help fund a two hour activity session for people we support such as karate, keep fit or dance
  • £125 could purchase two new microphones for our community radio stations
Select Payment Method

Alternatively, pay directly from your bank.

Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Reclaim Gift Aid

Gift Aid It!Add 25% more to your donation at no cost to you. A Gift Aid declaration allows United Response to claim tax back on eligible donations. It means that for every £1 you donate to United Response we can claim back 25p, at no extra cost to you.

By ticking the "Yes" box, I agree I would like United Response to reclaim the tax on all qualifying donations I have made, as well as any future donations, until I notify them otherwise. I understand that if I pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations in that tax year I may be asked to pay any difference. I understand that United Response will reclaim 25p of tax on every £1 that I give.

What is Gift Aid?

Gift Aid does not cost you a penny more, but can add an additional 25p to every £1 you donate. When United Response receives a donation from a UK taxpayer, we're entitled to claim an amount of tax (calculated at the basic rate of income tax in that year) paid on that donation. Once you have given your permission for us to do this on your behalf, there is no need for you to do anything else.

All that is required is that you must be a taxpayer and that would have paid or will pay sufficient Income and/or Capital Gains Tax to cover all the Gift Aid claimed on all your donations in that tax year. Please note that it is your responsibility to pay any difference.

The amount of tax we claim will be 25% of the total value of your donations in that tax year. Furthermore, if you are a higher taxpayer, you are also entitled to claim the difference between the basic rate which we will claim and the amount of tax you have actually paid. For further details on how you can do this, please contact your tax office. If your tax situation changes and your gifts will no longer be eligible for the Gift Aid scheme please contact us and we will amend your record accordingly.

Take me to my donation »

Donation Total: £125.00 One Time