We are recruiting!
Would you like to become a Blood Biker? if the answer is yes and you live in our northern area, in or around Milton Keynes, Brackley, Banbury, Northampton, Kettering, Corby, then we would like to hear from you.
Take a look at what’s involved below, if you think this is for you and would like to know more why not get in contact.
To register your interest simply drop our membership secretary @ email@example.com your details and we’ll be in touch.
Serv-OBN – it’s what we do!
Duty rider or driver
All our riders and drivers have an approved advanced qualification. If they have an advanced bike qualification they can ride for us (after an assessment) or drive for us. An advanced car qualification allows the volunteer to drive for us but not to ride for us.
After joining the volunteer will attend an induction course, then there is quite a bit of training to be done. Having completed the induction the volunteer will be issued with a fundraiser ID card and can start to help with fundraising whilst they are in training. The training involves:
- GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) which describes how to handle blood products correctly. It also provides an initial introduction to the duties, to the fleet and to the rota system.
- Three hospital familiarisation runs (North, Central and South) during which the volunteers visit our main collection and delivery locations and are shown where to pick up and drop off their consignments.
- A hands-on session with a fleet vehicle to reinforce the GMP information, highlight the ‘marked vehicle’ effect and undertake an assessed ride or drive using a fleet vehicle.
Once this is completed and the volunteer has been issued with a Hi Viz jacket and receipt books, they are free to go on the duty rota.
Volunteers are expected to do at least one shift a month and would typically do several. It is not enforced, but a long period of inactivity would be questioned. Since most work is done using one of the fleet bikes or cars, it is best to do around three shifts in a row in order to avoid the overhead of too many vehicle transfers between volunteers. Our rota manager will assign one of the fleet bikes to the volunteer, who will arrange to collect it from the previous volunteer.
A personal bike can’t be used to carry blood products: this must be done on one of our fleet bikes, which has been approved by the manufacturer to carry the load and has appropriate racks and straps in place. Personal bikes can be used to carry samples, though we encourage volunteers to make use of the fleet bikes where practical.
Cars have to be used when the temperature is too high or too low to transport blood by bike. The car must be air conditioned if the temperature is too high. We have some fleet cars for this purpose and volunteers can use their own cars (they must make sure their insurance covers them – advice is given by SERV OBN on how to get this).
We have a rota that lists all the positions available for each day. Our area of operation is divided into three regions, North, Central and South, so we need riders/drivers in each region. During the week, the shifts are from 7pm to 6am.At the weekend or on bank holidays, there are two shifts, one from 7pm to 8am and one from 8am to 7pm.We also have short evening shifts (7pm to 11pm) for transporting samples from local community hospitals to John Radcliffe hospital for analysis, and variable arrangements for transporting donated breast milk to the Milk Bank at John Radcliffe.
Once you have completed this you will get your “BLOOD” hi-viz vest, receipt book and access to the membership areas of this site.
You will also qualify for the “Blue Light Card” which gives discounts at many retail outlets as a way of saying thank to the emergency services.
Each shift has a duty controller who normally works from home: there is no central control room. The controller receives the call requesting a delivery or a collection and dispatches a volunteer to carry out the assignment. The controller will liaise with other Blood Bike groups if the delivery involves a relay, and with the hospitals and the rider/driver as required.
Our fleet vehicles are fitted with trackers so that the controller can check on the location of volunteers if necessary.
The controller is also there to support the rider with any delivery issues that arise, so should be knowledgeable about all the aspects of the operation. For this reason, some experience in the charity may be required before you can become a controller.
Milk rider or driver
A significant amount of our work involves transporting human milk for premature babies. This work has its own system separate from the usual work. Milk is taken from the donor’s home to the Milk Bank at the John Radcliffe at a time convenient for the donor and the rider. The milk is frozen so there is less urgency involved. The Milk Co-ordinator will allocate a volunteer who has offered to do milk deliveries. These can be done at any time of day.
There is an annual membership fee of £10 and a returnable deposit of £20 for the Hi Viz jacket that riders and drivers are required to wear. Other than that there are no further charges. The SERV training is free and SERV pays for the fuel used in fleet bikes and cars. If a fleet vehicle is not available and a personal vehicle has to be used, SERV will contribute to the cost of fuel used for the charity’s business.
SERV OBN does not provide advanced rider or driver training. This must be undertaken with the IAM or with RoSPA (gold or silver pass required) and paid for by the volunteer, although both organisations often offer a discount for volunteers.
Other Ways You Can Help Us…
Use AmazonSmile; This is quite simply “money for nothing!”
AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices and shopping features as Amazon.co.uk.
The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price (excluding VAT, returns and shipping fees) from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. Just click on the AmazonSmile logo at the bottom of this page and start shopping today and help us keep our fleet on the road.
Ask your employer to support us; Did you know that many employers set aside funds for supporting local charities? Find out from your employer or look on their website about how to nominate our charity so we can benefit from these funds.
Make a Donation; Make a personal donation using our “Just Giving” page, we even get 25p from the tax man for every £1 donated (as long as they are a UK tax payer) . You could make a one off or continuous donation through “Just Giving”.
Sponsored Event; Could you or your company you work for help support or even organise a sponsored event? We would be happy to help guide you on how this works, just get in contract.
Hold a Fund Raising event; This could be anything from a “coffee morning” to a “car boot sale” – please let us know and we’ll see what we can do to help.
One day maybe we’ll be helping you so, please try and help us where you can, we will all appreciate it.