100% Biker 192

100% Biker 192
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We are lucky enough in this country to have a publicly funded health care system which is free at the point of use to any UK resident. But, with a population of 65 million, it is a service under constant pressure.

Thus we are equally fortunate that there are also people prepared to give up their time and money to provide corollary services to the NHS. The one that will spring to most minds is, of course, the fantastic Air Ambulance. However, just as valuable but perhaps less visible are the Blood Bikes organisations across the country.

One of the largest ‘unseen’ costs of the NHS is that of transporting blood, x-rays, scans, tissue samples and the like. After office hours, the only option is to use private taxis and couriers, which is hugely expensive. This is where the Blood Bikes come into their own. Started in 1969, this service has saved the NHS millions of pounds over the years, thanks to the indefatigable work of volunteers. Across the country, hundreds of bikers give up their time each week to ensure that people get the best health care possible. Every single night and weekend of the year, across the country, there are Blood Bikes out there, saving both lives and money for the NHS, and this is all done on a voluntary basis. Like the Air Ambulance, Blood Bikes rely solely on charitable donations for everything, even for fuel and insurance.

As well as couriering items between hospitals, the Blood Bikes also work in conjunction with local Air Ambulance services. Until recently, Air Ambulances were unable to carry blood supplies and it was frequently a Blood Bike which could get to the scene of an accident in the quickest time. Now Blood Bikes deliver blood to many helicopters, enabling them to be en route to an incident as quickly as possible.

All riders hold an advanced riding qualification and receive extra training in emergency response riding, but they give their time for free, and frequently help to finance the service themselves. As well as the motorcycle riders, each team also has a dispatcher and other helpers, all – once again – doing this on a purely voluntary basis, week after week. Saving lives. Week after week.

It’s a remarkable and essential service, and one which you can help while having a damn good time. The Prescott Bike Festival near Cheltenham on 12th April is a vital fundraiser for the National Association of Blood Bikes and the local group, the Severn Freewheelers. It’s a chance for you to find out what the Blood Bikes do from the people on the front line, and you’ll be helping fund-raising simply by paying your ticket price and enjoying the day. Please support the event, because one day you might have cause to be thankful to Blood Bikes for more than just a good day out.

www.prescottbikefestival.co.uk.

-Blue

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