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Did You Know The Blood Bike Group Deliver Breast Milk?

Did You Know The Blood Bike Group Deliver Breast Milk?

You might not have heard of Blood Bike groups, but they could have saved your life.

Blood Bike groups provide a voluntary courier service for the NHS, transporting blood, breast milk and other emergency medical supplies to and from surgeries, neonatal units and hospitals. This essential service saves the NHS money in courier and taxi fees, as well as saving lives by providing a fast response service out of hours.

The Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes estimates that over 75% of the United Kingdom is currently served by Blood Bikes, and new groups are cropping up all the time to fill this vital need. The most recent addition is the North West Blood Bikes group; set up by a group of friends from a local motorcycle club and covering Merseyside, Lancashire, the Lakes and Greater Manchester, the group made their first emergency run in July 2012 after securing sponsorship from Carole Nash and the David Schofield Foundation Trust.

Blood Bikes Deliver Breast Milk
Despite their nickname, Blood Bikes carry more than just blood; there are a range of medical supplies which need transportation, including breast milk. Breast milk can help sick and premature babies to build their immune system and fight off infections, and in many cases this improves their chance for survival. However, illness, insufficient supply or separation from the baby can affect a mother's ability to supply breast milk, so donor milk is used instead. Blood Bikes collect spare breast milk from nursing mothers, and deliver it to special care baby units.

However, Blood Bike groups cannot run without support from their community. As well as regular volunteers who can give up their time, Blood Bike groups require large amounts of funding; The North West Blood Bikes alone requires £36,000 per year to run at their current capacity. If you want to help this excellent cause, why not organise a fundraising event in your area, or set up a regular donation? Corporate sponsorship is also important to these groups; Carole Nash currently has North West Blood Bikes as its charity of the year, and if you can persuade your company to do the same, you'll be helping to save lives.

August 2013

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