Rotarians hear of charity’s cost-saving service

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President Scott Elliot welcomed members to last week’s Rotary Club meeting and introduced two speakers who gave an illustrated talk on one of Scotland’s newest charities.

Blood Bikes Scotland was the subject and the two volunteer members of the charity, Ron Spalding, South Queensferry and Steve Quintus of Hawick explained how it operated. The organisation has been in operation for a year and conveys light medical supplies, such as small equipment, x-rays, medicines, etc between hospitals in Edinburgh, Fife and the Borders by motorcycle.

These were formally conveyed by private taxi at considerable cost and the charity conveys them for free thus making big savings for the health boards in question. They cover out of hours between 7pm and 6am on weekdays and 24 hours at weekends and public holidays. They are also involved in collecting and distributing surplus breast milk supplies to where it is required. There are 59 hospitals in the regions that they service and 12/14 similar groups operate elsewhere in the UK.

All the volunteer riders work for free, some even paying for their own petrol, and have their own full-time jobs and do not receive any payment from the NHS or any official funding or grants and depends on public donations for running costs and purchasing of motorcycles and their maintenance. They wear distinctive yellow jackets to advertise and publicise their presence.

Many interesting questions followed, after which past-president Tommy Mulvee gave the vote of thanks and congratulated Ron and Steve for their efforts and dedication and wished them all future success.