Who are SERV Wessex?
SERV Wessex is a registered charity (No. 1156383) that provides a free transportation service for NHS Hospitals in Hampshire, Dorset and South Wiltshire.
SERV Wessex transports blood products and other urgent consignments allowing hospitals to divert financial and staff resources elsewhere. We also offer an ad-hoc service to transport heart monitors and human milk. Human milk is collected from mums and then delivered to the Milk Bank at Princess Anne Hospital, Southampton and then if required further distributed to Neonatal Hospitals in our area of operation.
All of our riders and drivers are volunteers who donate their own time and fuel to providing a free service to hospitals. We also operate a continuous service to replenish the blood and plasma carried on the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance and their critical care cars based at Thruxton.
What vehicles do we use?
Most of our members use their own vehicles but we also have our own small fleet of charity vehicles which enables us to reduce the financial burden on our volunteers.
Currently we operate 2 x BMW R1200RTs, 2 x BMW R1250 RTs, 2 x BMW F8000GTs. 2 x Dacia Dusters and a Citroen Van. During inclement weather or when the quantities required are much larger, having 4 wheeled vehicles ensures we can continue to provide a service to our client hospitals.
Who are our volunteers?
Our volunteers come from all walks of life and ages. We need Riders, Drivers, Dispatchers, Fundraisers and General Administration volunteers to help us operate. Unlike some groups, we have no paid volunteers to help with the organisation or fundraising; we do it all ourselves.
All the work doesn’t happen on the road, it’s a team effort – Dispatchers are a key and very important part of the team. Some of our drivers and riders are also Dispatchers.
If I donate money, what does it pay for?
Any funds that SERV receive go towards the upkeep of the fleet and the operational running costs of the service.
Why Sponsor us?
SERV Wessex is a registered charity established by local volunteers to deliver essential blood and urgent medical supplies, between hospitals and other healthcare sites in Hampshire, South Wiltshire and Dorset. During the day we also provide a delivery service for Human milk to the neonatal units in our area and provide a collection service for heart monitors. Since the 1st of April 2020 we have been providing a daily Hospital Pharmacy service delivering medication and controlled drugs to patients that are shielding in the community as well as providing all our other services. Thus, giving the NHS access to our dedicated and trained volunteers 24 hours a day.
Outside normal office hours, hospitals rely on taxis, couriers or front-line emergency vehicles to transfer urgent medical supplies or test samples between hospitals and other sites. Blood Bike groups, across the country, carry out this service free of charge, ensuring the limited resources of the NHS can be used where it makes a difference. SERV Wessex Blood Bikes’ funding comes entirely from charitable donations, and the service is provided solely by volunteers, giving their own free time to help others.
In critical situations, blood or other medical items need to be delivered urgently in order to save a patient’s life. Blood bikes, with their distinctive livery, and narrow profile, can quickly get through busy traffic to reach their destination. For bulky items, or in extreme weather conditions, we use cars too, to ensure our service is available every day of the year. We also support the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance with continuous deliveries to its aircraft base with the blood and plasma carried on the aircraft and their critical care cars.
We performed over 4782 operational deliveries in 2020, carrying boxes of blood products, medication and heart monitors. Covering 220,352 miles, 52% of which was completed by volunteers using their own vehicles and covering all their own costs. Since our new daily service started in April 2020 our volunteers have covered over 81,500 miles, made 2611 deliveries and 330 collections.
This service provides a significant saving to the NHS, which can be spent on patient care and other NHS priorities.
Whilst motorcycles are the main stay of our work, when the weather is cold, blood can’t be carried on the back of a motorcycle as it crystallises. When ice / snow lays afoot, motorcycles can be removed from service and we move to cars.
We spend much of our time fundraising to support our current small fleet which consists of 2 x BMW R1200RTs, 2 x BMW R1250 RTs, 2 x BMW F8000GTs. 2 x Dacia Dusters and a Citroen Van. When our volunteers use our marked vehicles, the costs are covered by the charity. We believe that our volunteers already do amazing things simply by giving up their time to provide the service that they do. By providing and maintaining our marked vehicles, we can try and limit the financial burden on our volunteers.
With help from our sponsors we can update our ageing fleet and provide more vehicles, with our aim being to have sufficient that all of our active members have access to a marked vehicle when they are on call. This is where you come in.
With the cost of a new bikes running into thousands of pounds, it can take a considerable period of time for us to raise enough money to purchase one and have it ready for operation duty. That is an awfully long time stood in the street or outside supermarkets with a collecting box. With a few reasonable donations from commercial sponsors, we could save a lot of time and allow our members to do what they do best – deliver vital goods and services to hospitals.
If you sponsor us we can offer a range of incentives. Apart from the warm feeling you would get from supporting a good cause, we can display your logo on our website. These can be linked through to your own website so that our viewers become your potential customers. We can offer recommendations of goods and services or even display your company logo on our vehicles and events trailer. Our members regularly stand outside supermarkets, shopping centres and at events throughout the year, raising the profile of our organisation. If our banners feature your company logo or we have your leaflets on our table, you too can benefit from our interface with the public.
There are many ways you can help, our vehicles need tyres, oil and parts. If you would like to know more or would like to become a sponsor, please contact us for details.