The best way to describe the PC Harper Ride of Respect event is this: A somber occasion but one filled with hope and support from the local community. For us at the 4×4 Response, we learned a lot about the power of community at an event scale and magnitude. A minute’s silence was a touching and fitting way to begin our day.
What we hadn’t expected was just how overwhelmingly positive the response from the public and the bikers was going to be. There was expected to be people along the roads and waving to the bikers and service members as they drove by, however, we hadn’t expected there to be so many people that waited out the whole day and even waited for those who helped keep the event running to drive past, waving and clapping as we went by. Their dedication to the day was what made the event the success it was. It was members of the public that started the event and it was them who showed up and gave the support needed to become something bigger than anyone had expected. They brought together so many groups, including ours, to work on something that was an event none of us will ever forget.
No one in our group had expected we would receive the gratitude from the community that we did. It wasn’t their gratitude that was eye opening, it was the scale and dedication to the event that showed the power of community, communication, charity and the positive side of social media and how well it was utilised to bring so many people together from so far across the UK. I know that it’s an experience I won’t forget and it’s all because of the everyone who put their time in.