−−− BY LINZI DAVIES −−−

Whiteknights Yorkshire Blood Bikes are a charity that provides a free out of hours courier service for the NHS and hospices in our region. As well as transporting urgent blood samples for testing, they also deliver plasma, tissue samples, donor breast milk for babies and urgent documents – anything which needs to be transported very quickly between hospitals and hospices in emergency situations. Before they were set up in 2008, the NHS had to rely on private hire taxi companies, couriers and the Police or Ambulance service for exceptional circumstances as their own transportation system only runs during normal working hours.

From starting out with just one bike back then, the Whiteknights Yorkshire Blood Bikes now operate 7 bikes between the hours of 7pm-7am weeknights and 24hrs every weekend and bank holidays. One such bike is named ‘Lewis’ after fundraising manager Beverley’s son, who tragically lost his life in a motorcycle accident aged just 22 years old. Beverley told me “Lewis was always into bikes, he loved them and said bikers were like a big family. His ambition was to do the specialist training required and volunteer with the Whiteknights when he turned 30. Unfortunately, that will never happen. Last year to commemorate Lewis’s birthday, we did a sponsored skydive as a family, raising £7000 for the Whiteknights Yorkshire Blood Bikes charity. In return, they named one of the blood bikes Lewis, and now this bike is so precious to us as a family and it is my mission to support this charity. I became the fundraising manager in April this year to do everything I can to help.”

Each blood bike costs an estimated £5000-6000 a year to run and the charity is completely self-funded. In the first year of running, the Lewis blood bike carried out more than 850 missions. They attend lots of events during the warmer months to fundraise, and gratefully receive donations. On the 17th November, Rogerthorpe Manor Hotel in Pontefract are hosting a race night to raise vital funds for the charity. This is sure to be a fun-filled evening along with food and drink. Tickets for this event can be purchased from www.facebook.com/yorkshirebloodbikes or by emailing: fundraising@whiteknights.org.uk

If you would like more information about Whiteknights Yorkshire Blood Bikes, are interested in volunteering or to donate, please visit their website www.whiteknights.org.uk or visit their Facebook page at
Facebook.com/yorkshirebloodbikes

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