Another of the volunteers around the country for ‪#‎VolunteersWeek‬ where we celebrate the work of ‪#‎BloodBikes‬.
Tessa Wilkinson
Severn Freewheelers
I’ve been riding blood bikes for little over a year. Many people ask me why I do it and how I fit it in to my very busy life. By day, I’m a business development manager for a trust of schools in the South
West. I run a scheme that brings business and education together so young people can acquire skills needed for work as well as find out all about careers that are available to them. It is rewarding and I love working with young people. However I’m also an avid motorcycle rider. I only started riding a couple of years ago, but when I trained to do my advanced test, I found out about blood bikes and just how much they support the NHS. I joined Severn Freewheelers in January 2015 and have now done over 100 rides for them. It is very rewarding and we get a glimpse into a world that we would never otherwise see. Get as much rest as possible!
Riding the blood bikes can be tiring as you can be called out at any time during your duty. I go on duty from around 6pm on Saturday to 7am Monday and then 7pm – 7am on Monday and Tuesday nights.
Ensure you rest before you go on call and I’ve learnt not to plan any important meetings the day my duty ends.
Be a role model. You are very visible on a blood bike and we need to ensure that we demonstrate excellent riding skills at all times. Know when to say no. If you’ve been very busy and feel tired, remember you can always refuse a job if you feel that it would put you at risk. Having said that, I’ve only ever had to do that once, and usually the coordinator ensures you have rests.
Be professional. Although we are all volunteers, we provide a service for the NHS and are trusted with urgent deliveries.
Enjoy what you do! If you are a keen motorcycle fan, there is nothing better than being able to ride a bike while helping others. It is a real privilege to support our NHS and I feel lucky to do this.