|Area served||Somerset, Bristol, Bath, West Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire|
|Focus(es)||NHS motorcycle courier|
|Revenue||£43,020 (year ending 31 March 2010)|
|Motto||Riding For Life|
Freewheelers Emergency Voluntary Service (EVS) is a blood bikes group based in South West England. The charity was founded in Weston-super-Mare in 1990. It owns and operates a fleet of BMW R1200RT and Honda Pan-European motorcycles fitted with blue lights and sirens, which are ridden by volunteers, to provide a free-of-charge emergency courier service to local hospitals.
Freewheelers EVS have helped a number of similar groups to start up in England, including White Knights EVS in West Yorkshire. Neighbouring groups include Severn Freewheelers, SERV, and Yeovil Freewheelers, which started in 1978.
The charity operates in Somerset, Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire and western parts of Wiltshire. It is used by NHS hospitals in the area such as Frenchay, Southmead, Weston General, the RUH in Bath, and Musgrove Park in Taunton. The charity's volunteers transport blood for transfusion, blood samples for pathological or microbiological analysis, drugs, patient notes, x-rays, scans and medical equipment. It has also carried more unusual items such as antivenom and artificial limbs. Since 2010, Freewheelers has also been transporting human breast milk to and from the newly opened breast milk bank at Southmead Hospital.
Freewheelers operates outside regular business hours from 19:00 to 07:00 during the week and 24 hours at weekends and public holidays. All its riders hold an advanced motorcycling qualification, such as an IAM or RoSPA test pass. By using Freewheelers' service, local hospitals avoid using taxis and commercial couriers, saving an estimated £150,000 each year.
In 2010, the pupils of All Hallows Preparatory School near Shepton Mallet staged a number of fundraising events, including a sponsored bicycle ride from John o' Groats to Land's End by two parents, to buy a new BMW R1200RT motorcycle, which was presented to Freewheelers on 1 July 2010. One of the pupils won a competition to name the new bike "The Flying Crane"—the school's logo is a Crane.
On 2 June 2008, Freewheelers EVS was awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award that can be given to a voluntary organisation in the United Kingdom and equivalent to an MBE.
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