All photos courtesy of Martin Cavaney - All feature James Ross, Head of West Wales Freemasons and Amanda Wood, Blood Bikes Wales. Photos also feature other Blood Bikes Volunteers and Members of the new West Wales Motorcycle Lodge.
18th October 2020
Thousands of patients in hospitals across the region who rely on blood and other essential medical supplies being delivered at all hours by bike, are set to benefit from a major new grant from West Wales Freemasons to the Blood bikes Wales charity.
The £14,000 grant will see Blood bikes Wales take possession of a brand new, fully equipped BMW 1200 RT, which has been named “Mason”.
The presentation took place on Saturday in Haverfordwest.
The new bike will help the charity to continue their life-saving delivery services of blood, blood plasma, medical samples and essential medical equipment and documents. They also deliver donor human milk to neonatal intensive care units.
The grant from West Wales Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
Amanda Wood from Blood bikes Wales who works as a Medical Secretary at Glangwili Hospital and lives in Tavernspite, said:
“We’re really grateful to West Wales Freemasons for their generous grant. This has allowed us to buy a new fully equipped motorcycle as an essential contribution to our life-saving service to hospitals and patients throughout West Wales. This is an especially important grant, given that the coronavirus has stopped our recent fundraising and greatly reduced our income as a result.”
James Ross, Head of West Wales Freemasons from Haverfordwest, said:
“I’m really pleased we’ve been able to help Blood bikes Wales with their absolutely vital work. This is an amazing charity, run by dedicated volunteer bikers, controllers and fundraisers who effectively act as a fourth emergency service. There are thousands of people across the country who owe their lives to this organisation without knowing it.”
Pembrokeshire area Blood bikes was set up in 2014. It now has 30 members and runs the service with three bikes manned by 17 volunteer riders.
Blood bikes is entirely operated by volunteers. They depend on charitable donations from companies, organisations and individuals and holding fundraising events for new motorcycles and operational costs. No fundraising events have taken place since February which has greatly reduced their income and furthermore no events are planned for the foreseeable future.
The organisation has been busier than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic with an all-time record of 980 completed deliveries in the month of August. The operational costs have exponentially increased with the extra demand of the service.
Since it was set up in 2011, Blood bikes Wales has carried out 21,012 jobs, saving the NHS hundreds of thousands of pounds. With the increase in work due to COVID 19, the charity have carried out 5,673 jobs so far this year.