A Basingstoke man and his 6,000-member Facebook motorcyclist group have raised £12,000 for an air ambulance service in Hampshire.

Keith Longman from Hatch Warren, who has been raising money for local charities for the past four years, has led the mission to raise a substantial donation for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA).

Keith runs the Facebook motorcyclist group, HBB, which has around 6,000 members. It is an inclusive group of all genders and new riders.

On Sunday, December 12, Keith and around 100 other motorcyclists rode from Nether Wallop to Thruxton and handed over a cheque worth £12,000 to the representatives of HIOWAA.

On their way to Thruxton, Keith and other motorcyclists were greeted by firefighters who came out of their stations, applauding and blowing blue lights from their fire engines.

“It was wonderful to see fire services come out of their buildings with sirens,” Keith told the Gazette.

“There were also pedestrians along some streets to applaud us. It was a very good factor and the atmosphere was buzzing.

“We know the money we donated could save potentially more than one person’s life. It’s a nice thing to know, especially at the moment when our world is going through Covid.”

Basingstoke Gazette: HBB riders in ThruxtonHBB riders in Thruxton

Keith, 53, has been raising money for local charities for the past four years.

He has so far raised around £25,000 for various charities with the support of his Facebook motorcyclist group.

A photographer by profession, Keith started raising money for HIOWAA around a year and a half ago.

“I dressed up as Mrs Brown for a week and went everywhere in that costume to raise money," he said.

“I have also had half of my beard shaven for the cause. I love doing these things to raise money for charities.

“Motorcycle dealers have donated stuff to me which I have auctioned off to bikers to raise funds for HIOWAA.

“It’s great to know that we raised so much despite it being a difficult time with Covid and people being at home and unemployed.”