Tue, 12 Jun 2018
THE first charity drive in memory of a young Thatcham man who lost his life last year has been hailed a success.
More than 100 vehicles rode out to remember Ashley Herring, described as “the life and soul of any event” and a “tremendous son, brother and friend”.
The 21-year-old was killed when he lost control of his motorcycle in Foxs Lane, Penwood, in May 2017.
Friends, family and strangers set off from Newbury Retail Park on Saturday, taking in a 30-mile route out to Hungerford and then to Penwood, finishing back at the retail park.
The inaugural ride out raised £637.77, which will be split between Help for Heroes (£335.38) and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (£302.39).
The wounded veterans charity was chosen as Mr Herring had dreamed of joining the Parachute Regiment after finishing his apprenticeship at Volvo Truck and Bus in Basingstoke.
Ashley’s father, Martin Herring, said the family was incredibly pleased with the turnout and was aiming for bigger and better next year.
He said: “Let’s just hope that we can keep this going. We aim to make it an annual event in his memory and see how we can carry it on.
“Everybody loved it. Even those who never met my son turned out to help raise money and maybe heard a few stories about him and just the fun-loving guy that he was.
“The moment you met him you loved him.
“My wife and daughter were very pleased with the turnout. People have done him proud… hats off to the people who organised it.”
The ride out was organised by Ashley’s friend James Briggs.
He said: “Ashley always loved anything with an engine and loved driving/riding anything with an engine even more.
“When we were younger we used to meet up nearly every weekend and go out as a group of friends together on our pushbikes all around Newbury and the surrounding area.
“Then, as we got older, the same group of us got into motorised vehicles.
“The ride out comes from this shared hobby and passion and is a way for us to remember those times, as well as to bring others together to have a good time in his name and raise money for charity.
“The team and I are very happy and proud of the amount of money we raised for our first charity event and aim to increase that number next year.
“We’ve already had lots of ideas as to how to raise the profile and running of the event to raise even more money.”