At this current time of economic restraint, everyone has to tighten their belts. In this respect, the National Health Service is no different to any of us and needs to save the pennies wherever it can. Over the years, many hospitals have chosen to collect blood and send pathology samples, patient notes or other urgently required materials using taxis or courier services.
The mission of SERV Wessex as a blood bike charity is to provide a free of charge out of hours service to local hospitals, saving money that departments would otherwise spend on taxi fares. Our members give up their time from 7pm every evening until 7am the next morning and offer a 24hr service at weekends and over bank holidays. More often than not, they use their own vehicles at their own expense. There is no budget to refund their fuel costs or contribute to the maintenance or insurance of their bikes.
We spend much of our time fundraising to support our current small fleet which consists of a BMW R1200RT and a Vauxhall Astra van. The van is particularly useful during the winter months when ice and snow would prevent the safe use of a motorcycle or when the temperature is simply too low to allow blood to be transported on two wheels. When our volunteers use our marked vehicles, the costs are covered by the charity. We believe that our volunteers already do amazing things simply by giving up their time to provide the service that they do. By providing and maintaining our marked vehicles, we can ensure that our volunteers do not end up more out of pocket than they need be.
With help from our sponsors we can provide more vehicles, with our aim being to have sufficient that all of our active members have access to a marked vehicle when they are on call. This is where you come in.
Obviously, it would be unreasonable of us to ask organisations to provide us with a new motorcycle - but if you would like to, we would happily accept! With the cost of a new machine running into thousands of pounds, it can take a considerable period of time for us to raise enough money to purchase one and have it kitted out to the required specification. That is an awfully long time stood in the street with a collecting box. With a few reasonable donations from commercial sponsors, we could save a lot of time and allow our members to do what they do best - deliver vital goods and services to hospitals.
If you sponsor us we can offer a range of incentives. Apart from the warm feeling you would get from supporting a good cause, we can display your logo on our website. These can be linked through to your own website so that our viewers become your potential customers. We can offer recommendations of goods and services or even display your company logo on our vehicles. Our members regularly stand outside supermarkets, shopping centres and at events throughout the year, raising the profile of our organisation. If our banners feature your company logo or we have your leaflets on our table, you too can benefit from our interface with the public.