Freewheelers EVS

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This article is about the British motorcycle charity. For the television programme, see Freewheelers.
Freewheelers EVS
Freewheelers EVS Logo.svg
Type Registered charity
Registration No. 1001067
Founded April 1990[1]
Headquarters
Area served Somerset, Bristol, Bath, West Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire
Focus(es) NHS motorcycle courier
Revenue £43,020 (year ending 31 March 2010)[1]
Volunteers 60[2]
Motto Riding For Life
Website www.freewheelers.org.uk

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.[1][2] 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.[3] Neighbouring groups include Severn Freewheelers,[4] SERV, and Yeovil Freewheelers, which started in 1978.[5]

Operations[edit]

Freewheelers EVS members in uniform high visibility jackets

The charity operates in Somerset, Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire and western parts of Wiltshire.[6] 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.[6] It has also carried more unusual items such as antivenom and artificial limbs.[2] Since 2010, Freewheelers has also been transporting human breast milk to and from the newly opened breast milk bank at Southmead Hospital.[7][8]

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,[9] 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.[2]

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,[10] to buy a new BMW R1200RT motorcycle, which was presented to Freewheelers on 1 July 2010.[11] One of the pupils won a competition to name the new bike "The Flying Crane"—the school's logo is a Crane.

Freewheelers Yamaha FJR1300

Accolades[edit]

On 2 June 2008, Freewheelers EVS was awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service,[12][13] the highest award that can be given to a voluntary organisation in the United Kingdom and equivalent to an MBE.[14]

In July 2008, Freewheelers EVS was awarded the Chair’s Community Award of 2008/09 by the Chair of Bath and North East Somerset Council, Councillor David Bellotti at the Guildhall in Bath.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Charity Framework". Charity Commission. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Bristol FreeWheelers keep the blood flowing". Bristol Evening Post. 15 August 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2010. 
  3. ^ Himelfield, David (7 February 2008). "Emergency Dispatch!". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  4. ^ "Charity works nights for the NHS". BBC Gloucestershire. 2 September 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  5. ^ Machin, Nigel (September 2008). "Yeovil Freewheelers celebreate 30 years of saving lives". BBC Somerset. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "Freewheelers hoping for a helping hand this November". North Bristol NHS Trust. 16 October 2006. Retrieved 1 Feb 2008. 
  7. ^ "South West’s first milk bank up and running". North Bristol NHS Trust. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  8. ^ "Hospital's new service aims to help mums give babies best start". Bristol Evening Post. 2 November 2011. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  9. ^ Bolton, Adam (August 2007). "Blood Brothers". Motorcycle Sport & Leisure (Mortons Media Group Ltd): pp. 46–50. ISSN 1478-839X. 
  10. ^ "All Hallows fundraising takes shape for Freewheelers". This Is Dorset. 23 April 2010. Retrieved 24 October 2010. 
  11. ^ "Dads' big adventure buys charity a bike". Mid Somerset Series. 8 July 2010. Retrieved 24 October 2010. 
  12. ^ "2008 Winners, South West". The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. The Cabinet Office. Retrieved 3 June 2008. 
  13. ^ "BLOOD BIKERS GET NOD FROM QUEEN". Bristol Evening Post. 3 June 2008. Retrieved 3 June 2008. 
  14. ^ "Top award for volunteer couriers". BBC News. 2 June 2008. Retrieved 3 June 2008. 
  15. ^ "Chairman congratulates 'unsung heroes' who help transport blood to injured patients". Press Release. Bath and North East Somerset Council. 24 July 2008. Retrieved 10 November 2010. 

External links[edit]