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The Speedway Riders Benevolent Fund is registered charity, which exists solely for the purpose of assisting Speedway riders who have became seriously injured, been forced into long-term sickness from their work, or whose lives have been devastated as a result of accidents whilst racing Speedway for British-based teams.
It helps in many different ways, including the purchasing of items such as wheelchairs and other facilities to assist with disabilities of the beneficiaries, as well as providing assistance in areas such as alterations to living accommodation.
As a registered charity, the Speedway Riders Benevolent Fund is administered and controlled by a board of four trustees who, as well as being responsible for the day-to-day operation, also ensure full transparency of accounts by submitting annual audits to the Charities Commissioners.
The main income of the Fund is raised by kind and generous donations from loyal speedway supporters across the world. Collections in aid of the Fund are held at every speedway track throughout the season, complimented by other donations and individual fundraising events.
One of the main events associated with the Speedway Riders Benevolent Fund is the Ben Fund Bonanza, generally held at the start of each speedway season. This event always attracts a field of top riders from around the world, and is supported by speedway fans nationwide.
The Ben Fund Bonanza launched in 2009, and was the idea of Paul Ackroyd. Even in the current economic climate, the event enjoys growing support from speedway's family of loyal supporters.
Paul Ackroyd
Paul Ackroyd was a well-known SCB referee, officiating within the UK for over 20 years. Having taken "early retirement" from refereeing a few years ago, he became the Secretary and Treasurer for the SRBF.
Following in the footsteps of the late Bernard Crapper, Paul's main aim was not only to maintain the good work Bernard had done for many years, but also raise the profile of the Ben Fund. With that in mind, it was Paul's idea to host a major annual event, and in 2009 we saw the birth of the now highly-acclaimed Ben Fund Bonanza.
His involvement with the SRBF also includes liaising with injured riders, co-ordinating track collections, dealing with donations, attending Trustee meetings and general administration of the SRBF.
In 2013, the SRBF has provided assistance to 32 riders from 8 different countries.
Over 75,000 has been paid out so far in 2013.
Lakeside, Berwick, Edinburgh and Rye House were the top 4 for track collections in 2013.
Over 12,500 supporters have attended the 5 Ben Fund Bonanza meetings.
Ben Barker is the only rider to have raced in all 5 Bonanza meetings, and his ambition is to become the first to race in 10.
46 different riders from 8 different countries have taken part in the 5 Ben Fund Bonanza meetings to date.
Barry Briggs is a massive supporter and advocate of the SRBF.
All fines imposed by SCB Referees are given to the SRBF.
In 2014, SCB Referees will carry the "Ben" logo on their official clothing.
Although now defunct, Oxford, Exeter and Milton Keynes supporters continue to raise money for the SRBF.
During 2013, several speedway supporters who sadly passed away bequeathed money to the SRBF.
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Registered Charity Number 208733
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