North West Blood Bikes Lancs & Lakes. A potted History

Thanks to Paul G Brooks (Founder, Trustee & Life Member) North West Blood Bikes Lancs & Lakes (NWBB L&L) was established in May 2012 to help the NHS Hospitals in the North West of England save money on the transportation of urgent and emergency items, such as whole blood, platelets, specimens for analysis, medicines, Doctors notes, donor breast milk for premature babies, in fact anything which is urgently required at another hospital and could be safely carried on a motorcycle.

Having started with one Hospital Trust, that being Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, which covers Royal Preston Hospital and Chorley & South Ribble District Hospital and being called out just 812 times in the first 12 months, we now cover 5 Hospital Trusts in Lancashire and South Cumbria and are now being called out on average 1,300 times per month. Our number of call outs at the time of writing this is over 82,000 in just 8 years.

NWBB L&L started with 20 volunteer bikers and 4 Emergency equipped motorcycles, although many riders use their own bikes, we now have almost 400 volunteers which include approximately 300 riders, 50 Controllers and the rest are fundraisers and members who help where they can.

We work when the hospital transport doesn’t and that is during the evenings of the working week and 24 hours a day from Friday evening through the weekend. We also cover every Bank Holiday for a full 24 hours. That said we are often called during the daytime in the week and if we can do a run we will, but many of our riders have day jobs.

We do this totally free of charge to the Trusts. It obviously costs our charity a great deal and we rely heavily on the fundraisers and outside groups like the Freemasons, Rotary, etc. We give talks to groups, mainly to spread the word about us but thankfully to receive donations for doing so, and have stands at shows, inside and outside. Thankfully our volunteers are covered by Insurance arranged by Attend.

We now have a fleet of 14 Emergency bikes which are stored strategically at either Fire Stations or Ambulance Stations throughout our area and riders collect them when they go on duty.

Whilst we predominantly serve our Trusts, we also get involved in relays up, down and across the UK, linking up with other groups. Our longest relays to date are Dumfries in Scotland to Great Ormond Street in London, and Preston to Porton Down, to name but two.

Covid-19 has caused extra strain on Blood Bike groups throughout the UK, but because of the willingness of the volunteers we have done everything we have been asked to do.

In 2015 we were awarded the Supplier of the Year by the North West NHS and in 2016 Her Majesty the Queen honoured us with the Queens Award for Voluntary Service, which is an MBE for a group, and we are rightly proud of that.

Please spread the word about Blood Bikes, they often use their own plain bikes like mentioned above but will always wear hi viz denoting the fact that they are on Blood Bike Duty.