During the Covid-19 pandemic X-Press owner Neil Bedford has switched office suits for bike leathers – volunteering for SERV Wessex, members of the National Association of Blood Bikes – a vital free out of hours medical transportation service to the National Health Service.
During the pandemic, the national voluntary organisation has stepped up its efforts and has operated a 24/7 service delivering not only blood products and samples to NHS hospitals and Hampshire & Isle of Wight air ambulance charity HIOWAA but also delivering essential medicines to the vulnerable as well as to other core services of the NHS.
Neil comments: “I have been volunteering for the local Blood Bikes group for some months now and it has been so rewarding to be able to put my advanced bike rider qualifications to good use for the local community.”
As well as volunteering as a rider, Neil also acts as an on-call controller and takes calls and assigns deliveries for the Blood Bikes Group. The group has been helping in different ways during Covid-19 – delivering medicines from hospitals to local people in lockdown.
Alongside the Blood Bike activities Neil and his wife and co-owner Helena have been volunteering with local groups to deliver prescriptions from local pharmacies, PPE to doctors and nurses in hospitals and helping out with ‘odd jobs’ for the local community. One such odd job was a rush repair of a set of dentures than an elderly gentleman had snapped in half. The Bedfords were able to collect them, have them repaired and returned within four hours.
Helena adds: “During the pandemic the community effort has been amazing and there have been huge numbers of people at home sewing to make scrubs, aprons and masks for health care workers. We’ve been able to collect the PPE items from local sewing groups and deliver them to frontline NHS staff.”
A vital part of the work that Blood Bikes has been carrying out is the speedy delivery of blood to hospitals with urgent requirements as well as taking C19 samples, tissues and bloods to test labs. The volunteer group often works alongside the HIOWAA charity supporting the communities of Eastleigh, Southampton, Portsmouth, Winchester and beyond.
Neil and Helena have run their X-Press Hampshire office since 2012, providing local conveyancers with detailed online search reports as an important part of the property buying process.
To volunteer for the SERV Wessex Blood Bike group visit
To donate to Air Ambulance: visit https://www.hiowaa.org/donate/