Volunteer motorcyclists deliver urgent medical supplies

Blood Bikes Manchester volunteer Graham Beesley

Kind-hearted motorcyclists are delivering urgent medical supplies for patients at St Ann’s Hospice.

Volunteers from Blood Bikes Manchester have made an average of three trips a week to hospice sites at Little Hulton and Heald Green.

The bikers have visited hospitals and health care centres in Greater Manchester for six years since their charity was set up by self-employed printer Paul Redfern.

Paul, from Hyde, has never lost his love for bikes despite losing a leg when his motorcycle was struck by a car in 1988 when he was 18.

He runs Blood Bikes Manchester, which transports blood, plasma, platelets, vaccines, samples, donor breast milk and other items during ‘out-of-hours.’

Paul said: “We’re delighted to help St Ann’s Hospice and our service is provided free of charge by our 49 amazing volunteers. We’ve carried out 650 jobs for the hospice showing the value of our service.

“Our riders are fully trained in handling blood products and controlled medication while test results usually need to be obtained quickly.

“Often it’s not a simple matter of popping in. We may have to collect a prescription, take it to a hospital pharmacy and return with medication.”

Eamonn O’Neal, Chief Executive of St Ann’s Hospice, said: “We’re enormously grateful for the support of the Blood Bikes team. Their volunteers provide an amazing service and we’d like to thank each and every one of them for their support.”

Blood Bikes Manchester is part of a nationwide association and recently added North West Air Ambulance to its list of clients. The charity has to raise £35,000 a year to cover fuel, insurance and other costs.

Paul added: “We’ve been recognised by the government as an emergency service and we alleviate high night-time costs of couriers and taxis. We estimate we’ve saved the NHS and hospices £341,350 in six years.

“Our services is getting busier by the day and we’ve seen a massive spike in requests.”