On Your (Blood) Bike!

The Steve Morgan Foundation has agreed to fund a new Yamaha motorbike for a voluntary organisation which provides crucial and quickfire transport for vital medical supplies to hospitals in the North West.

Riders from the Merseyside & Cheshire Blood Bikes get – quite literally – on their bikes to transport urgently needed blood, donor breast milk, drugs, human tissues and other necessities primarily between hospitals, hospices and blood transfusion units.

And the members, all volunteers, are certainly getting revved up about the impending new arrival to their potentially life-saving fleet following this new grant award from the Steve Morgan Foundation.

“We are all ecstatic and delighted with news of the funding from the Steve Morgan Foundation,” says fundraising and events manager Simon Dennett, also a trustee.

“We have eight motorcycles, and we are not expanding the fleet, but replacing them.

“The new bike we will now be able to purchase will use two thirds of the fuel of our other bikes.

“It will save on fuel costs, and lessens the worry of breaking down.

“Also, receiving this bike and being involved with the Steve Morgan Foundation will also hopefully add to the profile of the group and help us find sponsors and other sources of funding.

“At the moment we are doing alright but there was a time recently when we were very much hand to mouth – and the fuel is always the big cost.

“This new bike from the Steve Morgan Foundation will be more reliable, more economical, and one which our volunteers will enjoy riding as they make their important journeys.”

Simon has been involved with the Merseyside & Cheshire Blood Bikes for many years, alongside others such as founder Adrian Cowley – now honorary life President – and chairman Graham Douglas.

The organisation started off with just one motorbike and ten volunteers.

That then expanded to three bikes, before the Clatterbridge Cancer Hospital starting using their services and things really cranked up a few gears.

“Last year we carried out 6,500 jobs, and by the middle of January this year we have already completed 400,” adds Simon.

“One of our more recent additions is a home hospice in Runcorn, which had been forced into cutting costs through austerity.

“What we have done in helping them has saved them £15,000 a year.

“So as well as helping out with emergencies, what we have done also saves money and cuts down on patient waiting times.”

There are now 60 riders who regularly volunteer for the Merseyside & Cheshire Blood Bikes, and many more members of the group on the committee involved with planning and other tasks.

“Nobody gets paid for anything so everyone steps up to do something,” says Simon.

And there has also been plenty of support from the local community, as Simon explains.

“Not so long ago a couple of the lads were paying at the garage and someone came up and paid for their fuel before driving off.

“That kind of thing restores your faith in human nature.

“People are always really supportive, but at the same time we are conscious there are so many different great causes out there which need funding.

“Often people we see think we are paramedics or others working for the NHS.

“Far from it – usually you will see us doing this work on our days off!

“But everyone enjoys doing their bit to help.

“There are many different motivations, from wanting to help people, wanting to keep busy, and also enjoying riding motorbikes!

“All in all though, it is a great team and everyone enjoys being part of it.

“Nobody gets paid, but everybody loves it!”

*With thanks to Merseyside & Cheshire Blood Bikes for the photographs.

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