Personal injury solicitor and Devon Freewheelers volunteer, Mike Clarke, reports on the cash crisis facing a vital service Devon Freewheelers EVS, a registered charity providing motorbike delivery of urgent and emergency blood, organs, and other medical supplies to NHS hospitals in the West Country suffered a drastic shortage of vital funds towards the end of 2012.
The service, which is run entirely by volunteers, including the highly-trained advanced motorcyclists who deliver the supplies, had a disastrous couple of months fundraising in the run-up to Christmas. The chairman, Dan Lavery, who founded the group, said that really bad weather had drastically reduced the amount of money collected by the charity in its regular fund-raising activities, because so few people had ventured out of doors. In some cases, fund-raising simply had to be cancelled because the weather was so atrocious.
To make matter worse, one of the riders was involved in a hit-and-run accident whilst delivering medical supplies, writing off the motorbike and his specialist riding equipment. The losses through November and December made a hole of over £2,000 in the charity’s reserves, to such an extent that riders were paying for fuel out of their own pockets, as well as giving their time and expert motorcycling skills for free. Since Christmas, the situation has improved a little, partly because of a donation of £500 from a North Devon benefactor, but it illustrates how even the most worthy of causes can be vulnerable in these difficult financial times. Read more about the blood bikes here:- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-19084664