A LIFESAVING service has been rolled out to Dorset thanks to a donation from a tourist attraction.

Sculpture by the Lakes has donated a blood bike, to be housed at Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester and used to courier urgent medical items including blood, X-rays, samples and drugs between hospitals and other healthcare facilities across the UK.

This service is completely free of charge to the NHS, alongside the donation of the bike all the blood bikers themselves are unpaid volunteers. The blood bike will not only help save lives but it will help the NHS save substantial sums which can instead be used for front line patient care.

The bike is a Honda Deauville and the service is being run by Yeovil Freewheelers, a charity that was set up forty years ago to run a blood bike service in Somerset. Dorset has around ten blood bike volunteers so far and many of the Yeovil volunteers also undertake duties for Dorset County Hospital. Ultimately, they will be on call 24/7 365 days a year. All the volunteers are fully trained, having taken the advanced motorcycling courses run by IAM and ROSPA, and have then undertaken further training to act as blood bikers.

Simon Gudgeon, owner of Sculpture by the Lakes who donated the blood bike and is one of the blood bike riders said: “I trained with Yeovil Freewheelers and when they said they would like to extend the service to Dorset I was keen to help out. I have been an enthusiastic biker for several years and saw this as a way of helping the community and being on the bike at the same time. So far the bike has already undertaken regular trips to Exeter and London’s Charing Cross, it has also been on two emergency call outs where blood or samples need to be transported urgently. We are keen to find some local corporate sponsorship to help with the upkeep and running of the bike, if there is anyone who is interested please do get in touch.”