North West Blood Bikes, a voluntary, out-of-hours transport service for lifesaving medical supplies in Lancashire, has won £25,000 following their Aviva Community Fund entry bid. North West Blood Bikes is just one of the 450 plus organisations and charities that have won funding to support their inspiring work.
North West Blood Bikes was formed in May 2012 covering Preston & Chorley hospitals and surrounding areas. They provide transportation of urgent lifesaving medical supplies between hospitals out of hours i.e. 6.30 p.m. - 2 a.m. on weekdays, and a 24-hour service at weekends. They also cover all bank holidays and even Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
On average, the group is called out 10,000 times in a year and this number is constantly increasing. As a result two of their 10 bikes are in need of replacement. The award from the Aviva Community Fund will be used to purchase two new motor bikes.
To drum up votes for its Aviva Community Fund entry, North West Blood Bikes used their Facebook and Twitter pages - posting a link to vote for their entry and encouraging their followers to like and share it with the wider community. Many of the other Blood Bikes, and hospitals nationwide also got behind them, resulting in over 17,000 votes for their project.
North West Blood Bikes is just one of over 450 projects and charities that secured funding from the Aviva Community Fund. The nationwide initiative, now in its second year, launched in September 2016, called upon passionate residents to submit a project close to their heart to be in with a chance of securing funding ranging from £1,000 up to £25,000.
Nearly 4,000 groups entered the funding initiative, each galvanising the support of their local community to vote for their entry in six categories: health, disability and well-being, supporting the younger generation, supporting the older generation, sport in the community, environment (in association with Trinity Mirror), and community support.
Over 5 million votes were placed and the 689 groups with the highest votes were shortlisted as finalists. Awards in the £1k category were decided on by public votes, with winners in the £5k, £10k and £25k categories selected from the finalists by a judging panel.
Projects bidding for £25k and £5k generated the highest number of entries and Supporting the Younger Generation, which received the highest number of entries (27%), was the most popular entry category.
Ian German, North West Blood Bikes volunteer, commented;
“The award from the Aviva Community Fund is the highest sum we have ever won – it’s absolutely fantastic and we’re over the moon. The funding means that we can continue to transport lifesaving medical supplies to hospitals in our region and continue to expand our service. A sincere thank-you to everyone who voted for us.”
Lindsay Forster, UK and Ireland Customer Marketing Director at Aviva, said:
“We would like to congratulate North West Blood Bikes on their win. It shows the positive impact they have on their local community. It has been incredible to see the number of entrants and the diversity of causes that applied for funding this year. Each had a powerful story to tell which showcased not only the generosity and compassion of those who are involved with community groups across the UK, but also revealed the ongoing need for funding in order to continue their inspiring work.
“The reaction from North West Blood Bikes and everyone who supported their campaign has been overwhelming. It proves that funding, even in small amounts, can help make a huge difference and enable this organisation to continue and grow.”
To see the full list of Aviva Community Fund winners and to find winning projects in your area, visit: www.aviva.co.uk/winners