Chaz and Save
LP Director and motorcycle enthusiast Chaz Sutton talks about his voluntary work with the Warwickshire and Solihull Blood Bikers (WSBB).
Loss Prevention Director for builders’ merchant SELCO Chaz Sutton has motorcycling in his blood.
In his down time when he is not carrying out investigations and helping protect his business from fraud, Chaz can be found straddling his beloved Harley Davidson covering hundreds of miles exploring the UK and Europe.
But what also gets his blood pumping is the safe delivery of this life-supporting fluid and other vital organs to hospitals across the West Midlands as a volunteer with Warwickshire & Solihull Blood Bikers, a team of 80 volunteer rider and drivers who are dedicated to providing a weekday out of hours’ service and 24/7 weekend and Bank Holiday cover to the NHS.
They do this by transporting essential plasma, tissue samples, spinal fluids, X-Rays, licensed drugs and any other products than can be carried safely on a motorcycle to hospitals throughout the Warwickshire & Solihull area.
On its website, the charity modestly states: “We are just one of many Charitable organisations that provide a similar service around the United Kingdom and we are governed and overseen by the National Association of Blood Bikes (NABB) who share our mission to provide reliable, free and high quality provision to NHS trusts and hospices throughout the UK. Despite having full time jobs, many of our members still give their spare time to help run and maintain what is a truly worthwhile charity, and an organisation who are intent on making a difference.”
Chaz, who lives in North Warwickshire, is one such volunteer who joined the service in 2014 to put the passion he's had for motorcycles since he was 16, to more practical use.
“I took the IAM Advanced Motorcycle Test (Institute of Advanced Motorists) after conducting several months of advanced motorcycle training with the Coventry & Warwickshire Advanced Motorcyclists Group (CWAM) – all of which provided additional training on top of my own experience – it is very thorough and I couldn’t believe just how much I got out of this training personally, making my riding experience that much safer and far more enjoyable.
“WSBB cover local hospitals including Nuneaton, Rugby, University Hospital Coventry, Warwick and the QE (Queen Elizabeth in Birmingham) and we can be carrying blood, but equally it could be critical documentation, CD Scans, spinal fluid or breast milk.
“We cover the Bank Holidays, weekends and evenings; you add your name to the rota when you are available, before going to a local Ambulance Station, to pick up your Blood Bike for the shift.
“People assume that this service runs as part of the NHS, but out of hours, without volunteers, this vital work would have to be done by private taxis or even by emergency ambulance, having to take it off the road.
“To me it gives real satisfaction, combining my love of motorcycling with doing something that makes a real difference to people’s lives; giving a little something back at the same time.”
For more information, visit www.wsbb.org