Blood bike volunteers the real winners at Express & Star Business Awards
A blood bikes charity has proved to be a real winner thanks to this year’s Express & Star Business Awards.
Midland Freewheelers received a cheque for more than £3,000, raised by donations at the awards in June.
But a heartfelt plea from volunteer Chris Mansley at the ceremony touched the hearts of many including those of staff at Wolverhampton-based Paycare, which has now donated £500 to the worthy cause.
Midland Freewheelers transport blood, medicines and other medical supplies for local hospitals, usually by motorcycle, at any time of day or night, saving the NHS more than £1 million a year in transport costs.
Volunteers Bob Ross and Chris Mansley were presented with the cheque by Paycare business manager Amy Deakin.
Chris said the charity was delighted to receive the ‘splendid’ donation from Paycare which will help fund the charity’s vital work for local hospitals.
He said: “Most people think blood bikers are funded by the NHS, when in reality we are a charity whose members are 100 per cent voluntary and to operate, we rely entirely on donations.
“The money is injected directly into the charity, being spent on bikes, cars and maintenance, including tyres, fuel, insurances, equipment and investment into software systems.
"We cover the whole of the West Midland’s hospitals and medical facilities.
“We transport a range of other items to including medication, more urgent patient notes, samples, short shelf life chemotherapy drugs and of course blood. We operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 a year and can be called upon at any time of the day or night and in any weather. Without such kind donations we couldn’t operate.”
At the Express & Star awards, the not-for-profit health cash plan provider Paycare took the community champion award.
Some £2,000 was raised when Paycare match-funded proceeds from a friendly ‘Play on the Pitch’ game between Darlaston Town and Bilston FC at Molineux.
Paycare staff then voted for five charities to receive a share.
Amy said: ‘We first heard about Midlands Freewheelers at the awards where we were shocked to learn that they wouldn’t be able to carry out the fantastic work they do without donations like these. We knew then that we would find a way to support them.’