Set up in memory of Tom, the work of Riders for Health brings health, and hope - and life - to literally millions of people in Africa, using motorcycles.
People live who otherwise would have died in the vast heartlands of Africa. 

Founded by Tom's wife Andrea, Barry Coleman and Randy Mamola, Riders for Health is an international non-governmental organisation born out of the world of motorcycle racing. Its mission is to ensure that health workers in Africa have uninterrupted access to reliable transport. Without such transport, all health care projects fail. 

During several trips to Africa in the late 1980s, Barry and Andrea Coleman and GP racer Randy Mamola noticed that vehicles intended for use in the delivery of health care were notbeing used because they had broken down. They saw vehicles piled up at clinics that had stopped working for want of a $3 part, but no one knew what to do with them. One of the nurses that they met at the clinic told them that because people lived in villages so far apart, she could never reach them with health care. For people who had worked around engines all their lives, this made no sense. They knew that for a vehicle to run properly, and for the lifespan the manufacturer intended, it must be serviced correctly, especially when being used in hostile environments like rural Africa.They also knew that transport affects everything and that without effective transportation development in Africa will be impossible.

Randy returned to his racing career but with a new focus. Barry began working with established agencies to develop new systems for managing vehicles in difficult or hostile conditions and Andrea began building world-wide support in the motorcycling community and elsewhere for a new initiative in Africa. 
The initiative was enthusiastically supported by the motorcycle community worldwide. 

At events like Day of Champions, at the British Grand Prix, or by running helmet-parking buses at events in the UK, Riders has been able to raise funds to support its programmes in Africa. In 1996 Riders for Health was registered as an independent NGO in the UK and the expert systems they developed for managing vehicles in difficult conditions are now used effectively across Africa. Using an innovative social enterprise model, Riders has developed a practical, dynamic approach which is helping to achieve real and sustainable development. They have put in place reliable preventive maintenance systems for two and four wheeled vehicles used in healthcare delivery allowing health workers to reach rural villages time and time again.

Riders works with ministries of health, UN agencies and local humanitarian organisations, this means that all programmes are managed by wholly-African, wholly-professional teams, and not by volunteers or expatriates. This also ensures that Riders is able to build a lasting base of local knowledge and a culture of maintenance in the communities with which it works. The official charity of MotoGP and motorcycle sport's ruling body the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), the quality and innovation that Riders brings to its programmes in the field have been recognised globally on many occasions. In particular, Riders is regarded worldwide as a leading example of social enterprise. Riders now has programmes in the Gambia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania, and Lesotho.

Andrea Coleman:
"Riders for Health has been working in Africa now for over 20 years. We know that what we do has the potential to transform healthcare across Africa, but in order to do that we need support. 
And any investment and support that anybody can give us - we're going to make that go a long way!"

Barry Coleman:
"Andrea was born into the world of racing and she is still in it. 
These days she is one of the chief executives of Riders for Health
 and her 
work keeps her nose to the Moto GP grindstone race in and race out. 
It pays off. 
The HRC factory Hondas carry the 'Riders' logo and there are funding events in and around the paddock at almost every GP. 

'Riders' is like Tom: impatient, full of fun, implacably determined, highly international but with its roots firmly in its own home town.

People live who otherwise would have died, both in motorcycle racing and in the vast heartlands of Africa. The money supports a massive motorcycle training and maintenance programme for health workers in Africa.

The slogan is 'Motorcycles Save Lives'.
Of course there's an irony in the statement, but it is one that carries a great deal of meaning for all the family and friends of Tom Herron. 
And a great deal of meaning too for families in Africa whose parents, whose children live, when otherwise they might have died.

We don't have to ask if Tom would have approved."

To learn more about the work of Riders for Health please visit:

Photo: The Jan Burgers Collection
By Kind Permission