WI members' boost for the blood bikes

Morpeth Town WI

Wednesday, 6th April 2016, 09:34 am
Morpeth Town WI President Sarah Scarlett trying out one of the Northumbria Blood Bikes.

Morpeth Town WI welcomed the Northumbria Blood Bikes to its monthly meeting in February.

Peter Robertson, Chairman, explained that Northumbria Blood Bikes is a charitable organisation established by local volunteers, and everyone donates their time and expertise free of charge.

Blood bikes, with their distinctive livery, emergency lights, and advanced motorcyclists, deliver urgent items such as blood, fluid samples, patient records and medication, free to the NHS at evenings and weekends, 365 days of the year.

They operate between hospitals and healthcare sites and laboratories in the North East of England.

The blood bikes also have 4x4 motor vehicles, which they also use on a regular basis.

The service means that money that hospitals would have spent on couriers and taxis can now be re-invested in patient care.

The group is always looking to increase the number of volunteers to help with administration, shift co-ordination, fund-raising, driving and riding the blood bikes.

Morpeth Town WI President Sarah Scarlet said: “It was a very interesting and informative evening and it gave us much more of an insight into the very important work the Blood Bikes does, even more so as volunteers give up their spare time and work unsociable hours.

“Our members thoroughly enjoyed it and appreciated very much that they were able to come to our meeting, give us a talk and bring along one of their bikes.

“We were very pleased to be able to give a donation of £100 towards such a worthwhile and potentially life-saving cause.”

The Morpeth Town WI group meets on the second Monday of the month at the Waterford Lodge, Morpeth, at 7.30pm.

It has an interesting and varied programme of talks, activities and social outings. WI members can also attend regional activities and events, which are wide-ranging to suit all tastes, age groups and interests, including craft classes, cookery demonstrations, competitions and social activities, such as trips within the region and beyond.

Membership has been growing locally and nationally with a renewed interest in joining the WI. If anyone is interested in finding out more about the WI, and wants to make new friends, learn new skills and be part of the local community, they are welcome to attend any of the group’s meetings.

The National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI) is the largest voluntary organisation for women in the UK, with more than 212,000 members in more than 6,500 branches.

Each WI is a charity, governed by the Constitution and Rules for WIs, and every WI officer is a charity trustee. This means there are some legal requirements, but guidance and support is always available from the federation and the NFWI.

The WI is based on the ideals of fellowship, truth, tolerance and justice. With its original roots in rural and agricultural communities, it now embraces the interests of women in both rural and urban communities. All women who are interested in the values and purposes of the WI may join, no matter what their views on religion or politics.