Queen’s Award for blood bik­ers

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - NEWS -

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

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