A voluntary group who work in the community to provide a free, out of hours service delivering lifesaving items to the NHS has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
North West Blood Bikes – Lancs & Lakes provide a free, but professional, voluntary out of hours transport service to local NHS hospitals by carrying urgent and emergency blood, platelets, samples, donor breast milk, patient notes and theatre equipment.
Formed in May 2012 the group completed 812 runs in the first year. Now as a charity more than 800 runs per month are completed.
The service is provided through the night, at weekends and on Bank Holidays including Christmas and New Year.
Providing this service helps the NHS make savings on transport costs and enables hospital funding to be better spent on patient care.
Almost 300 volunteers are members of the charity with varying roles. Riders who are out making the deliveries, controllers who receive the calls from the hospitals and look after the riders while they are on the road.
Fundraisers are a vital part of the charity, without them there would not be the funds to keep going. There are also many volunteers who do a lot behind the scenes and keep the charity running smoothly. Everyone provides this service for free and asks for nothing in return.
Chairman Paul Brooks and his wife Denise, who is also a controller for North West Blood Bikes – Lancs & Lakes, were invited to attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace last month along with other winners of this year’s awards.
The Queen’s award is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK and the equivalent of the MBE.