‘It’s grown way beyond what we ever imagined’
Paul Brooks is one of the founders, and current Chairman, of the North West Blood Bikes
“I’m one of four founders, but I’m the only one that’s left. I saw an advert on TV and it showed a blood biker, but there were none in the North of England at all. I made some inquiries and there were two other guys interested in starting a group too.
“I met up with them at Rivington Barn, on the outskirts of Bolton, and really the rest is history. That was in August 2011. Another guy came along and we started the ball rolling.
“We run at night during the week and all weekends when other people don’t. In our first year we did 812 runs in 12 months. Now we are averaging 10,000 to 11,000 a year. It’s grown way beyond what we ever imagined it would do and that’s simply because we do it for nothing!
“You don’t have to be a rider to join either – you can be a controller. All you need is a landline, mobile and a computer and you can receive calls from the hospitals and know exactly which riders are available in each area. Because we are so large, we’ve had to split into five areas.
“At the last count, there were 356 members. Approximately 200 of those are riders, but I’m not sure exactly. We have about 50 or 60 controllers and then the rest are fund raisers.
“We rely purely on donations. We’ve had two grants from the National Lottery and we have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.” ■ If you’d like to find out more about the North West Blood Bikes team, join the group, or donate – visit www. nwbb-lancs.org.
ÔAT the last count, there were 356 members. 200 of those are riders’
Seven days a week, 365 days a year, these folks are ready and waiting to help