Could you help deliver lifesaving blood products in and around Dorset?

Devon Freewheelers (DFW) are looking for volunteer drivers in and around the Dorchester area to join the existing team, to extend and cement the lifesaving supply service offered to Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance (DSAA).

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The Blood Bike donated by Simon Gudgeon, pictured at Dorset County Hospital

DFW is a charity with a team of approximately 50 volunteer vehicle riders and drivers, delivering essential blood, samples, medication and donor breast milk to hospitals, other NHS establishments and patients’ homes in the South West of England.

In 2016 Devon Freewheelers confirmed a collaboration with Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance (DSAA), Dorset County Hospital (DCH), South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWAST) and the Henry Surtees Foundation to supply DSAA with blood products for their life-saving work.

The DFW volunteer drivers courier whole blood and other blood products in a charity response car, on an alternate day basis, 365 days a year to keep the medical team supplied with the vital products.

The service has been running for three years and, having a guaranteed delivery supply of blood products by the DFW volunteers, for immediate use by the medical team, has undoubtedly made a big difference to the lives of many people.

Do you think you have the dedication and commitment to offer some time to the charity for three to five days a month? Volunteers need to be over 25 years of age, hold a clean licence and have two years’ driving experience. Contact DFW via the website at: www.devonfreewheelers.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer-us or call the DFW office on 0300 800 0105 for further details.

Blood Bike donated to hospital

Meanwhile Sculpture by the Lakes has donated a Blood Bike, the first of its kind for Dorset. The bike will be housed at Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester where it will be used to courier urgent medical items including blood, X-rays, samples and drugs between hospitals and other healthcare facilities across the UK.

The bike is a Honda Deauville and the service is run by Yeovil Freewheelers, a charity that runs a Blood Bike service in Somerset. Dorset has roughly 10 blood bikers so far and many Yeovil volunteers also undertake duties for Dorset County Hospital.

Simon Gudgeon, one of Britain’s leading sculptors and owner of Sculpture by the Lakes who donated the Blood Bike and is one of the blood bikers said, “I trained with Yeovil Freewheelers and when they said they would like to extend the service to Dorset I was keen to help out.

“We are keen to find some local corporate sponsorship to help with the upkeep and running of the bike, so if there is anyone who is interested please do get in touch.”

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