Midland Freewheelers, part of the National Association of Blood Bikes, is one of our two chosen charities for the 2023 GSE UK conference.
‘Helping the NHS to help you’, this registered charity provides a professional dedicated emergency delivery service for the NHS and Midlands Air Ambulance, carrying anything of a medical nature that can be safely carried on motorbikes. This includes whole blood, blood products, plasma, platelets, pathology samples, breast milk, chemo drugs, x-rays/scans, patient notes, and medication. Riders and drivers are required to hold an advanced, IAM or ROSPA qualification with a current full membership.
So why Blood Bikes for GSE UK? What’s the connection?
“From the age of 16, I’ve always owned at least one motorcycle,” says Mark Wilson, GSE UK Region Manager and GSE UK Conference Manager. “Motorbikes and riding are part of my DNA—it’s a part of my life that’s given me the best experiences and the best friends (the other two being football, and mainframes!). While I’d been involved in charity events and football matches in the past, I hadn’t used my motorbike skills and given anything back to that community. I wanted to use my knowledge and experience to give something back, and to help people. It all came together with Blood Bikes.” Mark sat his advanced motorbike test, applied to be a volunteer rider and fundraiser, and was accepted. This includes taking further training with the group, and an expectation to ride at least two shifts a month.
“The national Blood Bikes movement is well-known amongst the motorcycle community, its local and regional groups do brilliant work, and I thought it would be an excellent charity to introduce to GSE UK members and supporters, who are renowned for their generosity.” The direct beneficiaries in this case, Midland Freewheelers, is part of the National Association of Blood Bikes (NABB), the umbrella organisation that represents the collective interests of 36 member groups across the UK and Ireland.
Founded in 2009, the Midlands service is provided by volunteers 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, and includes working alongside the Midlands County Air Ambulance. The area it covers extends north to Cosford for the air ambulance, across Wolverhampton, and all of Birmingham including the QE, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Vincent Drive Blood Bank, Heartlands, City Hospital, and Good Hope. It also covers nursing homes and private addresses of mothers’ donating breast milk, as well as relay work for Welsh Blood Bikes, helping them to supply breast milk to hospitals in South Wales.
Midland Freewheelers, Registered charity 1132369 – https://www.midlandfreewheelers.co.uk
Blood Bikes – https://www.bloodbikes.org.uk