“BLOOD BIKES MANCHESTER” is a registered charity, which offers an out of hours, free of charge, urgent medical courier service to the NHS. This we learned from Alan and Carol who are two of the dedicated volunteers who provide this service: Alan as a rider and Carol as fund raising organiser.
No one in our audience had heard about this service before and yet they operate from 7pm to 6am during the week and 24 hours at weekends and public holidays.
They need to fund raise because they use specially adapted motorcycles to give the best response times and to operate in all weather. They have 5 of these motorcycles plus 3 cars and a van for the very extreme conditions, e.g. thick fog, snow storms etc., all donated or bought with money that has been donated. Moreover, they do not charge the NHS even for running costs.
There is a National Association of Blood Bikes and the Manchester group has been a member since they were formed in 2012. These dedicated volunteers will deliver blood, platelets etc., tissue samples for analysis by pathology and microbiology laboratories, Xrays, scans etc., patient’s notes, controlled drugs, donor breast milk, small pieces of medical equipment and so on. Sometimes they deliver medical supplies to the homes of recently discharged patients. Their reward is the knowledge that they are helping to save lives and support the medical staff.
The Manchester group have to work closely together. The controller sits all night taking calls from the NHS and passes the messages on to the riders who are on duty that night. The riders have to agree duty rotas and meet with one another at service stations to pass on the bikes to the next one on duty. Carol organises and co-ordinates the fundraising. It is a big commitment for them all and I am sure a huge part of their lives.
If you would like to learn more about this dedicated group, their website is www.bloodbikesmanchester.co.uk and you can donate if you wish via email@example.com.