A fledgling charity which is set to transport urgent medical supplies to North West hospitals is on the road to a welcome cash injection – thanks to Altrincham based motorcycle insurance specialist, Carole Nash.
North West Blood Bikes Manchester (NWBBM) was set up by members of Hyde’s Rising Moon Motorcycle Club in January when they decided to volunteer to be “blood runners” only to discover the North West was not served by a blood bike service. The group has already managed to fund one motorcycle and a 4x 4 vehicle for its lifesaving operation. But before it can hit the road the charity needs to buy a second bike and ensure it can cover annual operational costs. Only then can it begin transporting blood, breast milk and other urgent medical items such as samples, results, equipment, medication and files.
Carole Nash decided to step in by sponsoring NWBBM and offering practical support as well as naming it as its Charity of the Year. The move has already seen Carole Nash agreeing to provide free insurance as well as servicing of its motorcycles at its Altrincham Repair Centre. In addition the company will promote the blood bikers’ cause via its Facebook and Twitterpages as well as its online biking magazine, Insidebikes which is read by tens of thousands of bikers.
The key aim is to raise cash for that vital second motorcycle through various staff fundraising activities. “Without a backup bike NWBBM cannot begin to provide what will be a lifesaving service and one which will save the NHS considerable money. With no blood bike service available hospitals sometimes have to rely on taxis,” explained Carole Nash’s chief executive, David Newman. “So our first priority is to see how we can help get them on the road. Our staff are already thinking of fun ways to raise cash and we are using our contacts within the police to see if we can pick up a reliable used machine at a reasonable price.”
Paul Redfern, chair and one of four trustees of NWBBM, said he was delighted with Carole Nash’s support. “This really is fantastic news. As a new charity dependent entirely upon donations and the goodwill of our volunteers, we’re chuffed to bits to have earned Carole Nash’s support. We know that Carole Nash staff have a reputation for really getting behind good causes and hope that with their backing we can get that second bike much sooner than planned. The practical assistance is also going to be invaluable in keeping our bikes safely on the road and in getting our message out to fellow bikers.”
NWBBM is just the latest charity to benefit from Carole Nash’s support. Last year Salford’s Brain & Spinal Injuries Centre (BASIC) opened a new gym facility which was funded by £15,000 raised by staff taking part in marathons, cycle rides and an Arctic trek taken on by David Newman. Last month he also handed over £7,000 he raised for Riders for Health, a charity which helps health workers in Africa deliver essential care to people in isolated areas. The cash was enough to fund training and protective clothing for 13 medics at its Rider Training School in Zimbabwe.
Whilst an independent charity NWBBM has benefited from vital practical support and advice from the Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes whose chairman, Gordon Downie, was also instrumental in introducing the fledgling organisation to Carole Nash. NWBBM will serve hospitals across Greater Manchester and Cheshire with its service manned entirely by volunteers and all riders required to complete advanced rider training.