Now December has rolled around we’re all thinking about one thing: Christmas. Have we ordered a big enough turkey? Have all the cards been sent out? Are all the presents wrapped? After all ‘tis the season of goodwill. And talking of goodwill, there’s a number of people who will be giving more than just Christmas presents this year. Cornwall Blood Bikes is a registered charity of volunteers who give up their time to deliver vital medical supplies outside of the normal operating hours of the NHS transport services.
Delivering while you’re sleeping
Between the hours of 5pm and 7am Monday to Friday, and 24 hours a day over weekends and bank holidays, these volunteers are ready to jump on their bikes and deliver and collect from hospitals and hospices throughout Cornwall - and occasionally beyond. It means that life-saving treatment can be carried out as soon as possible, thanks to the volunteers who give up their time to serve the community.
Each volunteer is a qualified advanced motorcyclist who’s been through riding assessments and bespoke training to equip them for the job. Bikers carry special kit, including satchels and spill kits, to meet the requirements for transporting NHS specified goods. They also display ID cards when on duty, and ride wearing high visibility jackets on liveried motorcycles.
The team carries a variety of essential medical supplies, including medical equipment, donor breast milk, medical notes and pathology samples throughout the county. Midwives, care teams, doctors and nurses can contact Blood Bikes to access urgent deliveries; these are then dropped to the nearest hospital as soon as possible.
As well as delivering vital cargo and helping the NHS, Cornwall Blood Bikes encourages safe riding practices and seeks to promote a positive image of motorbikes to the general public. Blood Bikes estimates that in 2018 alone, they saved their NHS partners in excess of £200,000, covering over 123,000 operational miles and completing 2,100 jobs.
The season of giving
Cornwall Blood Bikes receives no funding from the NHS, relying solely on the generosity of individuals and communities who donate to this cause. Every penny raised helps to keep their wheels turning, which is why Cornwall Airport Newquay chose to support Cornwall Blood Bikes as their Charity of the Year 2019/20.
We understand that donating money can be difficult at this time of year, but giving extends to more than just finances. While the NHS donor service is completely separate to the free service that Cornwall Blood Bikes delivers, the donor service does require around 5,000 donations of blood per day to meet the needs of patients across England. Each year they need around 135,000 new donors to supply the demand, if you’d like to become a blood donor you can find out more information about who can donate, and how to donate, here.
You can find out more about the amazing work Cornwall Blood Bikes does, and how you can donate to the charity, on their website.