Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


Northumbria Blood Bikes is a registered charity established by local volunteers to deliver essential blood and urgent medical supplies, out of hours, between hospitals and other healthcare sites in North East England. We cover Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Darlington.

Outside normal office hours, hospitals rely on taxis or couriers to transfer urgent medical supplies or test samples between hospitals and other sites. Blood Bike groups, across the country, offer to carry out this service free of charge, ensuring the limited resources of the NHS can be used where it makes a difference. Northumbria Blood Bikes' funding comes entirely from charitable donations, and the service is provided solely by volunteers, giving their own free time to help others.

In critical situations, blood or other medical items need to be delivered urgently in order to save a patient's life. Blood bikes, with their distinctive livery, emergency lights, and narrow profile, can quickly get through busy traffic to reach their destination. For bulky items, or in extreme weather conditions, we use cars too, to ensure our service is available every day of the year.
Work to establish the group started in September 2012, and the team of dedicated volunteers, with support from the Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes and other groups, began live operations in February 2014. By the end of that year we were supporting hospitals across the whole of our region and since 2015 we have also supported the Great North Air Ambulance Service with daily deliveries to its aircraft bases. We performed nearly 10,000 deliveries in 2016 and look likely to exceed that total in the future. In June 2017 Northumbria Blood Bikes was the proud recipient of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service - the MBE for voluntary groups - which we think recognises the value of the work we do and the professionalism and dedication of our volunteers.

Whilst motorcycles are the main stay of our work, when the weather is cold, blood can’t be carried on the back of a motorcycle as it crystalises. When ice / snow lays afoot, motorcycles can be removed from service. In such situations, it is essential to have a car available. Due to the high mileage of our vehicles, we need to replace one of our cars, at a time when it is most cost efficient.

This project would see us purchase and have a car on the road before the end of the Winter period, enabling us to support our NHS and Air Ambulance customers reliably, proficiently and professionally.

Northumbria Blood Bikes

Moment of Pride

We have a wonderful set of volunteers, who will all do what they can to support our work, when we talk with the public, they can't say enough about the work that we do as a charity. Being a volunteer in the charity is a very positive and very humbling experience.

Location: Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom