Volunteers who courier blood around for Scottish hospitals have been given their Christmas gifts early – two new motorbikes!

The new bikes will help Blood Bikes Scotland – which urgently transfers items to patients and hospitals – to expand its work for the NHS in Lothian, Fife and the Borders.

Aberdeen Standard Investments Charitable Foundation has given £5,000 to the charity, which is entirely self-funded, to aid the dedicated team of volunteer motorbikers to deliver urgent items like donor baby milk, blood samples, equipment and medication for the NHS. The donation has covered one third of the costs of one of the two new motorbikes which have been added to Blood Bike Scotland’s fleet this month.

John Baxter, chairman of Blood Bikes Scotland said: “The Aberdeen Standard Investments donation was amazing to receive. Each bike costs in the region of £15,000 and we’ve purchased two more to enable us to increase our service, thanks to this donation and others, and from other fundraising efforts we have been involved in. It is very timely as it comes at a busy time for our service and will assist us to help the NHS in any way we can.”

The bikers, riding fully liveried motorbikes, get involved to give something back to the community and in support of the NHS. They deliver items such as new prescriptions to District Nurses while they are still in the patient’s home so palliative patients can have changes to their pain medication quicker and reduce their waiting time. Or they may despatch specialist baby milk for premature babies, sometimes collecting expressed breast milk from the donor mother in her home and taking it to the hospital.

Claire Drummond head of charitable giving for Aberdeen Standard Investments Charitable Foundation said: “This band of bikers freely give up their time to courier medical supplies in their area. They can be called upon to transport anything from blood tests to emergency paperwork and through this important volunteering role they are providing an important support service to the NHS and its staff and patients.”

Blood Bikes Scotland was voted Scottish Charity of the Year 2018 and People’s Choice

Charity at the Scottish Charity Awards in Edinburgh. It is seeking new volunteers to join either as a rider, controller or to help with fundraising. More information can be found at www.bloodbikesscotland.co.uk