How it all began
Midland Freewheelers was first formed as a result of the original Chairman, Ray Hart, attending a Birmingham Advanced Motorcyclists meeting in 2009, where a chap from Severn Freewheelers Bloodbikes gave a talk about their work. Ray thought ‘That’s a good idea, why haven’t we got a Bloodbike Group in Birmingham?’
Ray and the other two founder members of MF, John Gaunt and Dave Walker got together and, with help and advice from other existing groups, began to pull together the essential elements such as a constitution, a bank account (with not much money in it at that point!) and most importantly, an agreement with New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, to provide a free motorcycle-based out of hours courier service for essential medical items. They started with just one bike, which was an ex-Police 1300 Honda Pan European with lots of miles on the clock, but safe and serviceable.
Operations began on the 1st July 2010 and the New Cross work continues to this day.
Where we are now
From that foundation our service has grown year on year and we now provide our service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, in any weather!
We cover the whole of the West Midlands, serving a large number of hospitals, medical facilities and nursing homes including Cannock Hospital, Walsall Manor Hospital, Good Hope Hospital, City Hospital, Heartlands Hospital, QE Hospital, Birmingham Women’s Hospital, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Russell’s Hall Hospital, West Park Hospital and New Cross Hospital to name a few.
We also keep the Midlands Air Ambulance charity’s helicopter, based at RAF Cosford, supplied with blood so they can give life-saving blood transfusions at an incident.
We are a charity staffed entirely by volunteers who give up their time to ride bikes, drive cars, coordinate and fundraise.
We carry anything of a medical nature (size permitting) including blood, human tissue, samples, X rays and patient notes. We consider all deliveries to be HIGH PRIORITY and deliver them as soon as a bike becomes free.
Midland Freewheelers are part of a larger blood bike family, the Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes (NABB). NABB, along with other blood bike groups across the country, work together to provide the transportation where needed. It essentially means as a group we can transport items across the whole of the UK. More recently they were key in setting up the relationship between blood bikers and Sky Watch UK for ‘air relays’ using helicopters and planes to assist our supply chain of transporting urgent medial consignments.
NABB’s main role is to liaise with government on legislation, promote the work of blood bikes and assist in the setup of new groups alongside providing help and guidance to existing groups across the UK and Ireland.