Express & Star

Volunteer taking on charity challenge

A volunteer with a blood biking group, called Midland Freewheelers, is taking on a challenge to raise vital funds to help members stay on the road.

Geoff Granner from blood biking group Midland Freewheelers, is taking part in a few challenges, including cycling 200 miles, to raise money for the group

Geoff Granner, aged 69, from Hayley Green, Halesowen, is among about 130 volunteers with the group who offer round-the-clock daily deliveries throughout the year for the National Health Service.

The volunteer group has access to eight motorcycles, which are stored at two fire stations in the Midlands, and which cost £3,000 each to keep on the road annually.

They are used to transfer blood, platelets and samples between Midland hospitals and laboratories as well as medication to patients being discharged.

In May this year the group completed 650 jobs and all at no cost to the NHS.

Geoff, a former marketing project manager, has himself completed 80 jobs and ridden a total of 15,000 miles.

He said: "The group has carried out 650 runs in May alone and I decided to take on a fundraising challenge of rowing 50 miles on a rowing machine and travelling 200 miles on a bicycle.

"I also plan to have my lockdown locks shaved off on August 6 when we are all due to get together and I think my colleagues will be fighting to carry out the hair cut.

"I have not had my hair cut since February last year so I felt the lockdown locks could go for a good cause.

"We do a lot of work with New Cross Hospital taking medication to patients being discharged and blood samples to the pathology lab.

"We also support West Park Hospital in Wolverhampton, Cannock Hospital, the Women's Hospital in Birmingham and the Birmingham Children's Hospital.

"We just love riding bikes and feel this is such a great cause and hope that by volunteering at no cost to the NHS that instead the money it would cost for such a service will be spent on patient care.

"The service operates in shifts and we also run two cars and support the Midland Air Ambulance based at Cosford and carry blood and platelets from the transfusion centre in Edgbaston to any hospital that needs supplies.

"There are 26 other groups nationally and we often act as relays to transport vital supplies across the country.

"With my fundraising activities I hope to raise £3,000 to pay to keep one bike on the road for a year and so far I have raised £1,000 and done 76 miles on the bicycle and 21 miles on the rowing machine."

Anyone wanting to donate can do so through the Geoffrey Granner justgiving page.

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