• 2015

    2015

    To all at NWBB Lancs & Lakes. It’s the last day of 2015 and what a FANTASTIC & UNBELIEVABLE year, almost 9,000 call-outs completed in 2015 and every run is down to the dedication of every single member; Controllers, Riders, Fundraisers, Members spreading the word, all of whom we couldn’t do what we do without you. Simon Weston, the soldier who received 46% burns on the ship Sir Galahad in the Falklands war, has just been awarded a CBE for his work for charities, and this morning explained on TV that “being part of a charity is like having a bug, you can’t stop”, and we know that. To every single member, MY THANKS, and I say that on behalf of every member and to ever member, and hope that 2016 is better for everyone, not just NWBB but to all Blood Bike Groups across the UK and Ireland.

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  • New Born Baby Samples

    Just prior to the Christmas holidays, duty Controller, Duncan Oag, received a request during his shift from Lynn Baines, the Ante Natal and New Born Screening Coordinator at Furness General Hospital, who was asking if we could take some samples collected over the Christmas period to Manchester. Duncan took the details and passed them up the chain.

    North area Manager, Steve Dunstan, contacted Lynn who told him that samples were taken from babies at Furness General, Westmorland General and Royal Lancaster Infirmary and had a 5 day shelf life. Normally the Royal Mail would ensure a prompt delivery to St Mary’s in Manchester, but with no post over the Christmas period, they had a problem. Steve gladly agreed to help and sorted out collection times and then got riders in place. Steve recalls that in one email exchange he was asked, “How do I arrange to pay you?” It gave him the biggest thrill of the week to be able to reply and say, “There is no charge - We are volunteers. It’s what we do”

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  • 77 call outs

    77 call outs

    Thanks to our dedicated Controllers and Riders we completed 77 Call-outs from midnight on Christmas Eve to midnight on Boxing Day. Several of the calls were either Very Urgent or Emergency and putting the Riders dedication against the weather conditions, particularly on Boxing Day, is an amazing show of good will and determination.

    We shot through 18,000 call-outs in the 43 months since we began, and all our efforts are done freely as they are with all Blood Bike Groups throughout the UK. Recently we have had such severe weather that just a few weeks ago we had to suspend our service in the North and West of our area, yet on Boxing Day we managed to keep going everywhere with riders using their own cars to get through, very often the long way round. Like the early stagecoach motto of Wells Fargo “Our mail will get through”, and it did albeit blood and products.

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  • Furness General Need Help

    Saturday 19th and we get a call from Furness General Path Lab, informing us that two of their analysing machines have broken down, and asking if we can help out. Amanda Mason (Controller), Neil McCall (Controller Manager) and John Walker (Dep North Area Manager) set wheels in motion asking riders to help with a run every two hours from Furness General to Lancaster Path lab, through the night and Sunday too. This ride takes a minimum of an hour and a quarter. Within minutes of putting the call out riders were sorted. Steve Dunstan (North Area Manager) later put out a call for further riders and within minutes his phone was ringing continuously with offers of help and the job was set up.

    Sunday 20th the Path Lab ask if we can keep going until 07:00 on Monday, not a problem, then they asked can we do a run at 09:00 as the repairs won’t be completed until after 10:30 when their own transport comes on. Again our riders jumped in to help.

    Steve’s answer to the amazed and unbelieving Path Lab “We’re here to help and do just what we do”.

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  • Head Shave

    Head Shave

    We recently received money from a sponsored head shave****.

    The money was raised by Julie, Amanda and Nicola three Sedbergh friends who decided to shave their heads for charity – quite a sacrifice to make when you have a full head of hair. They organised an evening of entertainment, food and music at which they all went under the scissors for charity. They expected to raise a few hundred pounds and were pleasantly surprised when they totalled a massive £4800 which they decided to split between NWBB-LL, Great North Air Ambulance and St. Johns Hospice.

    As a result Bob Bryne, Mike Wilkinson and Steve Dunstan were invited to a presentation held at The Bath House in Sedbergh where they received a cheque for a massive £1628.30. After the presentation they retired for coffee and cakes and had the opportunity to speak with the three “victims” as well as the representatives from the other charities. As you can see from the photo the three friends were still sporting short haircuts and massive smiles.

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  • Christmas Message

    Before the Fat Man comes down the chimney I thought I’d write this message to all our website visitors.

    What a FANTASTIC year 2015 has been, thanks to all our Members, our “Customers”, sponsors, those who’ve worked to Fundraise for us and those who have made donations or collected for us.

    We have recently burst through the 18,000 missions barrier in just 43 months, with over 8,000 runs this year alone, an incredible achievement by any standard, and I can assure you, that figure is far higher than any other Blood Bike Group in the UK and Ireland. We have been bestowed several awards and have been nominated for the Queens Award to Volunteers and will find out whether we have won or lost in May/June 2016, but win or lose the fact that we have been nominated is a fantastic accolade to you all.

    We have new members coming on all the time, but sadly losing a few members on the way, due to work/family commitments, but that is inevitable with a charity doing what we do.

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  • Weather closes down North Area

    Well, we were warned by the weather people, and they got it dead right. Many roads in Cumbria are closed and we had to suspend call-outs simply because of flooding and high winds. However Graham Jones in his trusty Land Rover made the trek North and is managing to get through where mere cars, and certainly bikes, can’t. Latest reports are that it will get worse before it gets better.

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  • Weather & Whether

    Saturday night 14-15th November 2015 and we were tested by severe weather and the decision had to be made for two of our areas to close down. The North, covering South Cumbria and North Lancashire was suffering from extreme weather, high winds and heavy rain causing flooding in many places, and the East, in the crook of the Pennines, was suffering similarly, the East Rider suffering from a tree log colliding with him, damaging the front wheel of the bike, fortunately the rider was uninjured.

    As a result both those areas were closed down until they are deemed safe. The Hospitals concerned have been informed and are fully understanding of the situation.

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  • North West Blood Bikes battle the winter chill!

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  • Call outs go through the roof

    On average, over the past 3 years we have been called out approximately 7,000 times, but so far this year we have been called out 7,265 times and it’s only the beginning of November, so it’s going to be our busiest year so far, and we are by far the busiest and largest Blood Bike Group in the UK. We are coping, but we desperately need more Riders and Controllers. We also need people who are free during the day to take Donor Breast Milk from Royal Preston Hospital to Neonatal Units around the North West. This doesn’t happen on a regular basis, but occasionally goes mad.

    If you have been thinking about joining us, just do it :-) The moral rewards are fantastic, just to think you may have helped to save a life, is reward itself. Many of our volunteers do what they do because they have something to pay back to our much maligned NHS. The staff at the hospitals are our lifeline at some stage in all our lives, so if nothing else it’s great to make friends there :-) All you have to do is hit the “Contact” button on the top bar of the website and someone will be in touch with you. Take care and ride safe.

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