Queen’s Award for blood bikers
Dumfries and Galloway’s blood bikes service has just scooped a prestigious Queen’s Award for its outstanding work.
The group of volunteers gained the recognition after three years and received the accolade from Lord Lieutenant Fiona Armstrong.
Dave Hook, chairman of Dumfries and Galloway Blood Bikes, was presented with the award and said: “We are really, really pleased.
“We were established in 2014 and now have 102 members, so it has kind of grown arms and legs.
“I was working in Cumbria as a motor cycle policeman and retired around 2011. One of my colleagues had set up a blood bikes service in Cumbria and I wanted to be involved.
“But I said it would need to include the south of Scotland and so we were established in 2014.”
The DandG Blood Bikes were repeatedly called into action during this year’s snow storms, dubbed the “Beast from the East’, by taking nursing staff to work using their 4x4 vehicles.
Dave said: “In a three-day period we took 132 members of staff to Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, we were busy.
“We could not run blood, but we could run people to work. The roads up to Glasgow were blocked and that restricted what we could do and we had to use the vehicles which were paid for by Tesco and their bag-for-life scheme.
“When we first started in June 2015, we responded to 15 calls. Now we average 1000 calls per month and we do a daily run to Glasgow.
“And we average between 12,000 and 15,000 miles per month – and we are all volunteers. There is no paid staff whatsoever and we work from home, so we have bikes based in Moffat, Annan, Dumfries, Stranraer and one at Dalbeattie.
“We would like to thank everyone who has supported us over the years.”
Meanwhile, the blood bikers group unveiled a new banner with a photograph of their members lined up in formation.
Dave said: “We unveiled our banner at the presentation ceremony in Dumfries and Galloway Infirmary and it was from an original picture taken by photographer Kim Ayres, from Castle Douglas.
“He donated his time to do the photo for us and that will go up in St Michael’s Services who support us with discounts for fuel.”
Anyone wishing to help or join up can obtain more details of the blood bikes service on their website at www.dgbloodbikes.org.uk
Honour Blood Bikes chairman Dave Hook unveils the service’s banner after receiving the award from Fiona Armstrong, centre, as vice chairwoman Judith Sauberlich looks on