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Blood Bikes – Riding for Life

Blood bikes? Crosby’s Soroptimists now know much more about them. Members attended a meeting (virtually) organised by their neighbouring club, SI Southport. Chris Williams from Blood Bikes North West (Lancashire & Lakes) was the speaker.

Volunteer bikers transport anything that benefits NHS hospitals and patients. They carry blood, pathology samples, medical equipment and breast milk – even patient records.

The volunteer bikers are from all walks of life. They know they are ‘fulfilling a need’ – and at a professional standard.

Why motorbikes? Blood can be stored many miles away from where it’s needed; ambulance and police vehicles are needed elsewhere; taxis can be costly. Bikes can cut through standing traffic and get closer to main entrances. The charity saves the NHS millions of pounds a year.

Blood bikers stand out, due to their hi-vis, red-blocks livery. “If you see this livery it’s making a delivery.” The national network means that precious deliveries can go ‘coast to coast’ if necessary.

Blood Bikes North West (Lancashire & Lakes) was founded nine years ago. It covers Ormskirk and Southport hospitals, and northwards into the Lake District. It is the biggest group in the country. The grand total of rides carried out by this group so far this year is pushing 3,000. (Other groups in North West England include Blood Bikes Merseyside & Cheshire and Blood Bikes Manchester.)

The group has its own mascot – the speaker’s wife’s dachshund, Cariad. This little dog wears a special vest, bearing the name ‘Bloodhound’. A neat play on words – a reminder of the contrast between the size of an actual bloodhound and this little dachshund – and a great way of starting a conversation about Blood Bikes.