Volunteers on motorbikes get blood and even breastmilk to patients in need

The Welsh riders use their love of being on the road to help others

WELSH volunteer motorcyclists deliver blood to hospitals and say their monthly mileage nearly doubled from 2020 as they were allowed back into hospitals post-pandemic.

The charity Blood Bike Wales is made up of 494 volunteers – made up of riders, controllers and PR. They deliver blood, urine samples, medical records, Covid swabs and even breastmilk.

“Whatever we can fit into the top box or in a pannier – we will transport,” said volunteer Paul Rudolph.

Blood Bike groups deliver milk from human milk banks to special baby care units when babies are premature and mothers cannot express milk.

Mileage increased by 50% in 2021, as the rate of hospitalisation and samples that needed transporting increased.

The group operates on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays responding to emergency calls and performing routine runs.

Mr Rudolph has volunteered for eight years, usually working a monthly Friday night shift from 7pm to 7am. Some nights he rides well over 100 miles between places like Abergavenny, Ystrad Mynach and Newport.

Blood Bike Wales volunteer Paul Rudolph

“I like riding a motorbike, so you get the buzz of riding and you’re helping your community.

“Normally shifts are around 12 hours but you can choose and put down the hours – whatever you can do to help. As long as we’ve got a coordinator to control everything coming from hospitals and you’ve got somebody on a motorbike – it’ll operate,” he said.

One of the specially customised Blood Bikes Credit: Paul Rudolph

In 2021/2022, the Welsh group travelled 359,934 miles and made 15,086 deliveries. The charity owns 24 bikes and each motorcycle costs around £1,400 a year to fuel. Funds raised by the charity are used to cover this expense.

“Without what we do nothing would happen because we are all volunteers,” said Mr Rudolph.

Some of the Blood Bike Wales volunteers. Credit: Paul Rudolph

The charity works across Wales and is constantly recruiting riders or people for their admin team. Click here to sign up.