VolunteersWeek, Our Volunteers tell their story

As part of #VolunteersWeek it was very important to get all aspects and stories. Meet one of our East area riders Pete Nash.

Pete joined the charity in May 2017 and here is just one of his experiences.

“I won’t lie but the main reason for volunteering for Blood Bikes was the opportunity to ride for a purpose.

I have never been one to ride aimlessly,

I’ve always had to have a goal or end destination in sight. This, coupled with my belief that the NHS is a public resource in need of support was my secondary reason.

I mostly enjoy the riding to and from the various local hospitals, though one unseasonal night in March I had a call to go to junction 27 on the M5.

It was a wild and freezing cold night with squalls of hail and snow – I got home at 3am, tired, cold and wet! Fortunately such rides are rare.

Belonging to an organisation with a common purpose is both interesting and fulfilling.

I still feel like a novice and continue to learn new things but being a volunteer comes without the pressure of paid work and this makes it all the more enjoyable.”

Thank you Pete for dedicating your time to ring for the charity and supporting our NHS partners.

 

VolunteersWeek, Our volunteers tell their story

Throughout #VolunteersWeek it was a time to share just a few stories of why our volunteers are driven to do what they do and why they chose to support Cornwall Blood Bikes.
Meet Ian Somers.
Ian joined the charity back in 2015 volunteering as an advanced fleet bike rider, on duty coordinator and fundraiser.
Ian could often be found for hours on end supporting fundraising events around the County. Ian took a little step back from the charity for family commitments last year but we were so delighted to welcome him back earlier this year.

Here is Ian’s story……

“Why I Volunteer”

“I always wanted to be a ‘Bloodrunner’ when I saw an article in a motorcycling magazine in the period between leaving nursing in the Army and going back into the NHS.
That was the name of one of the original Blood Bike Groups. I wanted to do this, because I know from first hand experience what its like to be in charge of a ward or the MIU in the middle of the night when I’ve had to call a doctor for an acutely ill patient needing blood or clinical chemistry investigations.

In “my day” there were only taxis to call on and the pressure to watch the spending on the ward budget was as great then as it is now.

Quite often the patient themselves would be transferred between hospitals if a number of samples were needed as it was cheaper than taxis but it was at the patients discomfort and more paperwork to do on the spur of the moment. I wish there had been blood bike volunteers when I was staff nurse so it makes sense to me help my former profession and make there life just little easier in giving this service as I know what pressure they are under and it is so much better for patients.”

A huge thank you to Ian for all the hours of commitment he has placed into the charity in his time with us, helping us support the wider communities of Cornwall.
Ian is only one amongst nearly 90 volunteers with similar stories.

VolunteersWeek, Our volunteers tell their story

Our CBB volunteer Stuart Hamilton joined the charity in December 2016, Stuart is an on duty coordinator, and advanced fleet bike rider.

Stuart gives his experience of his volunteering with CBB

“It’s a cold, dark, winter’s night.  Blood is needed for an operation.  Who can make that delivery?  This is the headline on a leaflet advertising Cornwall Blood Bikes.

Although it’s now Summer in Cornwall, the blood bike charity continues to support the NHS throughout the evenings and also providing 24 hour support at weekends and bank holidays.

Life in Newquay isn’t all about surfing and barbecues.  As a habitual avoider of the sea, surfing is not high on the list of activities that I enjoy; but riding motorcycles is.  As a holder of the Institute of Advanced Motorists’ advanced rider qualification, I volunteer time to Cornwall Blood Bikes as a fleet bike rider as well as volunteering as the duty co-ordinator.

It is difficult to explain what to expect during a duty period, because no two shifts are the same.  The output required entirely depends upon NHS demands.  Some periods sail by with no calls, others are the polar opposite.

One day last week I returned home from work and barely had time to shower before the first call came.  Could I ride from home in Newquay to St Austell Community Hospital and collect some urgent samples to be taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro?  After checking the BMW R1200 RT-P I duly set off, making good progress through traffic to the collection point.  The ward staff were expecting me and handed over the sample, which I then took to Truro and delivered to the Haematology department.  A short ride later and I was home, where I telephoned the duty co-ordinator to let her know where I was.

During the call, I was asked if I could undertake another run.  Could I ride to Truro and collect another urgent sample to be relayed to Derriford Hospital via another rider who I would meet at Bodmin?  I agreed and asked if I could have a quick comfort break and a cup of tea.  The details were agreed and I turned the kettle on.  Before it had boiled, the phone rang again.  The volunteer I was to meet in Bodmin had been called out on a time critical run; could I now take the sample to Derriford?

After a short break, I said goodnight to my son and wife and left for Derriford, collecting the sample from Truro on the way. The rain started when I reached the A38. Riding conditions were still OK and I was progressing well along the single carriageway road, positioning the bike appropriately to maintain forward vision.  As I rounded a corner near to Bodmin Parkway I noticed a small van stationary in the carriageway with two people at the rear.  Due to their position, the weather conditions and the failing light, I stopped to check they were ok.  It transpired that their van had lost a wheel and the jack wouldn’t fit under the vehicle.  I notified the Police and my co-ordinator and waited for Devon & Cornwall Police to arrive.

A short while later, the Police thanked me for my assistance and I returned to my ride to Plymouth.  After delivering the sample, I headed outside to the bike.  A curious patient was admiring the bike and a lengthy conversation ensued.  Needless to say this gentleman was shocked to hear that all of my efforts were completely voluntary and at no cost to the NHS.  He thanked me for my efforts and wished me a safe journey home.

Just over an hour later, I arrived at home, parked the bike in the garage and telephoned the co-ordinator to let her know I arrived home at 0130 hrs.  Not long until it was time to get up for a day in the office.”

A very big thank you to Stuart for hiving up his time to ride, coordinate and fundraise.

 

Volunteers Week, Our Volunteers tell their story…

In a celebration of #VolunteersWeek it seemed a good time to hear what drives our volunteers to give up their time and do what they do for the communities of Cornwall.

One of our newer volunteers Steve Richards who joined the charity towards the end of 2017 tells his story:-

I’ve volunteered for over 20 years in Her Majesty Coast Guards, so it’s in my blood so to speak!

I needed a change last year so combining my love of  motorcycling and still volunteering was a no brainier for me really.

The thanks and gratitude I receive from the NHS staff when I call in is overwhelming really. I hope to continue to be part of this amazing charity for a long time to come.”

“One shift I did during the cold snap recently. I left home just after 5 pm on the first call and did not get back until just after 23:00 and covered 197 miles. Call after call !

Lovely”

A very big thank you to Steve from all at CBB for giving up his time to support our hospitals and hospices across Cornwall.

#VolunteersWeek CBB Celebrates

At Cornwall Blood Bikes we wanted to embrace and capture Volunteers week ( 1st June – 7th June 2018)
This week was a showcase of national celebration of the contribution millions of volunteers all over the UK make.
Here at CBB we celebrated the true dedication & commitment and the very special fact that every single one of our 80+ members are all volunteers which include our trustees, committee members, riders, co-ordinators, and fundraisers.
We covered over 96,000 miles last year supporting our NHS partners, hospitals and hospices across Cornwall and all for free.

 

The first weekend of June yet again we were operational across Cornwall 24 hours a day as we are every weekend of the year.
Saturday 2nd June saw Richard T, Kevin C, Mike R, Peter W, Stuart H, Simon O, Robert S, Steve R, and Tim C as the on duty riders covering the County. Some of the jobs included a J28 run with our colleagues from Bristol, Freewheelers EVS.
Our on duty co-ordinators for the two shifts were Dave “Trudge” T, and James F
Also in the East of our County there was a large fundraising event in aid of CBB and in attendance were Julie M, Alan M, yet again Kevin C and Ian B.
Richard is also our CBB secretary, Ian our Fundraising Manager and James our Chair so their day was not just simple tasking with all the background work that goes on behind the scenes every single day.
Today was just one simple day out of 365 days.
Every single one of these individuals along with all our other volunteers dedicating their time to offer a bespoke, dedicated and professional service to our NHS partners, and hospices across Cornwall and beyond.
Improving patient care and bringing that care closer to home.
#VolunteersWeek

Collections from May 2018

Local Cornish Business Sponsors CBB Fleet Bikes

As Cornwall Blood Bikes prepared to go operational 24 hours a day for 96 hours over the May bank holiday weekend, we had a very special heartfelt thank you to make to a local independent Cornish business.

CBB have been extremely fortunate that John Wills of Newlyn Tyre Services has kindly agreed to sponsor us with a quantity of Metzler tyres for our BMW 1200 RT(p)’s
After fuel, tyres are the most costly items for the day to day running of our fleet of motorcycles.


Last year we covered as a charity more than 96,000 operational miles serving our hospitals and hospices across Cornwall.


CBB are hugely indebted to John Wills for this most generous sponsorship and for literally helping to keep our wheels turning..


Photographed were (L-R)
Paul Thomas, CBB Advanced Fleet Bike Rider, Martin Hunt, Manager at Newlyn Tyre Services, with the handover to CBB Fleet Manager John Penlerick

Collections from April 2018

A special working relationship between CHC & CBB

On Wednesday 21st March CBB had a very special guest at the bi-monthly meeting of all volunteers at Truro College.

Tamsin Thomas Head of PR & Communications very kindly gave a full presentation of Cornwall Hospice Care and the work that it carries out at both their hospices at Mount Edgecumbe, St Austell and St. Julia’s Hayle.

Back in September 2017 our CBB PR Media Liaison Jayne Penlerick and Fundraising Manager Ian Butler visited Mount Edgecumbe hospice and met with Tamsin and the Head of Care, Gemma Ayling to see if Cornwall Blood Bikes could assist the hospice in anyway.  As part of the visit they were given a behind the scenes tour of this very special place and were totally inspired by the light, love and support the staff give to patients, their friends and family.

Tamsin was welcomed by her opposite number Jayne to the meeting and gave a full in depth presentation into the work of Cornwall Hospice Care, which was a fabulous insight for CBB volunteers who merely see a reception desk when picking up or dropping off vital packages.

Tamsin described the work that they do in the fact they are a 24/7 charity that provides specialist care for people over the age of 18 with terminal illnesses. They support patients and their families at their two hospices, in the acute hospital, in care homes and in the community, and strive to challenge perceptions. They only receive 20% NHS funding the rest is purely by the generosity of the public.

Tamsin ended the talk by disclosing some fascinating figures by 21st March this year (from 1st January 2018) the Cornwall Blood Bikes had done 60 runs for Cornwall hospice Care, saving the CHC charity more than £3,500 in taxi fares.   

One of their Consultants, Dr Jane Gibbins said; “The Cornwall Blood Bikers enable us to provide an acute service, which relies on immediate actions. Thanks to them we can address our patient’s symptoms accurately and in a timely manner.”

Janet Barnie, Ward Administrator at Mount Edgcumbe Hospice, said; “We genuinely need the Cornwall Blood Bikers. They are a vital service and help us make a difference.”

It is interesting to note that Cornwall Blood Bikes very first ever job was to St. Julia’s Hospice 7 years ago.

What a truly incredible and inspirational place Cornwall Hospice Care is, providing such dedicated intensive care, comfort to patients, their family and friends.

It really is incredible with very special people at its forefront.

We would like to say a heartfelt thank you to Tamsin for her time that evening. All the committee and volunteers at Cornwall Blood Bikes to say we are proud and privileged to provide the service we do.

 

 

St. Stephens Ladies Club, Saltash Generously Donate

At 19.30 On Thursday 19thApril Cornwall Blood bikes were kindly invited to attend a cheque presentation at St Stephens Church in Saltash.

The ladies of the St Stephens Ladies Club have been running events locally to raise funds for different charities and Cornwall Blood Bikes were chosen to receive an amazing £200 from them.

Cornwall Blood Bikes Volunteers Gustaff Erikson and Fundraising Manager and advanced fleet bike rider, Ian Butler showed the ladies around one of the response bikes and although CBB did a talk to their group last year, it was a pleasure to have a catch up on how the Charity has progressed in the twelve months.

Gustaff and Ian stayed for a very welcome cup of tea and a biscuit and chatted on.

Cornwall Blood bikes is always sincerely thankful for organisations like this who think of the Charity and raise money to keep its wheels turning to help our NHS Partners and Cornwall Hospital Care.