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12 April 2021
We’re delighted to announce that Principal Insurance Ireland are now the main sponsors of the much-praised community project, Shed 4 Bikers.
We’ve stepped up our support for the free-to-use community garage, first response training centre and bikers’ social and support hub.
The new sponsorship will fund refurbishment of the Kildangan facility which volunteers have been upgrading since its temporary Covid-enforced closure in March 2020.
Shed 4 Bikers will also benefit from exclusive €30 discounts on new motorcycle insurance policies.
They’ll also have the chance to win a biking-related prize worth up to €100 every month in free draws hosted via the organisation’s social media feeds.
“We’re really grateful to everybody at Principal Insurance because this money is going to be a massive help” says Shed 4 Bikers team leader Derek Gannon.
“We’ve been using lockdown to renovate the Shed, working within the restrictions to lay a new concrete floor and fit a new roof. Now, thanks to Principal, we can also properly line and insulate the walls and upgrade the wiring so there are more sockets for people to work with.
“This sponsorship will help create a cleaner, healthier and more welcoming environment.”
He added that Shed 4 Bikers plan to unveil the upgraded facility at an open day hosted in conjunction with Principal one restrictions are lifted.
Derek announced the new sponsorship on a video to Sheds 4 Bikers’ near 5,000 Facebook group members, saying the group is “proud and honoured” to receive Principal’s backing and “help and assistance in upgrading the Shed to make it a safer, better place.”
Principal Insurance CEO Aly Dixon said the company shared that pride and honour.
“Sheds 4 Bikers is such a fantastic organisation.
“The work it does on rider safety and first response is of course invaluable. But it provides so much more to support the physical and mental wellbeing of bikers and others in the community.
“It’s an absolute privilege to be able to support their work.”
Founded by a group of like-minded Kildare bikers in 2017, Shed 4 Bikers has quickly established itself as a major community hub.
It also acts as a social centre with bikers encouraged to drop in for tea or coffee and share their experiences and skills.
As it’s evolved the group has also taken on new roles, including ensuring those new to two wheels receive appropriate advice and support to help them better ride safely.
This can range from riding tips and training, to provision of pre-used, safety-checked protective gear such as leathers and gloves.
It can’t, though, redistribute used helmets as, not knowing their history, it would not be safe to do so.
Derek (pictured below right) also says the centre aims to promote good mental health by enabling broader social interaction as well as uniting Ireland’s various biking interests in support of the community.
“We’re trying to do the right thing, to bring positivity to the forefront. Its too easy to negatively stereotype bikers but there is a lot of good in the biking community.” he explains.
“We get a lot of support from motorcycle instructors, mechanics, dealers and first aiders to provide knowledge based support. But we also try and provide practical assistance to bikers and the wider community.
“Every year we donate a project bike to someone who, for whatever reason, might be going through a hard time.
“We also support the Portlaoise Action to Homelessness Christmas gift drive and, in normal times, take Santa around the estates of Kildangan on an annual Waking the Neighbourhood tour.”
Despite lockdown, last year, in conjunction with Emily’s Spin for Lauralynn, Shed 4 Bikers still managed to raise €3,600 for the Laura Lynn children’s hospice. It was also able to donate a Yamaha Virago 750 to a biker in need.
In 2019 we donated a pressure washer so that the facility could add bike cleaning to its list of free services.
At the same time we also donated two helmet cams for a raffle to raise much-needed funds for a First Bike on the Scene (FBoS) training course.
If you’d like more information, to volunteer or make a donation to Shed 4 Bikers you can contact them:
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