Each month in 2021, The Lincolnite and publishers Stonebow Media will offer our support to a local charity, with free advertising and promotion across our website and social media channels, to help them raise funds and awareness.
This month we’re supporting Lincolnshire Emergency Blood Bikes Service (LEBBS) – a charity made up of more than 130 volunteers, who provide a free out of hours transport service to NHS hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout Lincolnshire (and sometimes beyond).
LEBBS doesn’t get any funding from the government so relies entirely on money raised by volunteers and kind donations, with every penny going towards keeping the bikers on the road.
Charles Douse, LEBBS chairman, said: “Our team transports anything of an urgent medical nature that is required for the clinical care of an NHS patient, this usually consists of blood, pathology and microbiology specimens, medical notes, pharmaceutical products and donor breast milk for the benefit of premature babies.”
The charity, made up of riders, controllers, fundraisers and committee members, was formed in January 2012, with its first operational run in April 2013.
To begin with the charity covered Grantham and Boston hospitals, but has since expanded to include Lincoln County Hospital, as well as Goole, Scunthorpe and Grimsby hospitals, as well as a daily ‘blood on board’ service for Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance.
Charles said: “This blood can then be administered by the doctors and paramedics on board [the air ambulance], potentially saving the lives of critically ill patients.
“Should the blood not be needed that particular day, then we collect it and return it to the hospital, where it is returned into stock, preventing any wastage of this valuable resource.”
The bikers can be called at a moment’s notice and have so far responded to more than 5,000 calls, travelling in excess of 160,000 miles.
During the first Covid lockdown, LEBBS moved to 24/7 support of NHS hospitals and during 2020 the bikers completed more than 1700 runs – well over double any previous year’s total.
“Eventually members started to come out of lockdown and return to work and that together with the loss of fundraising meant we had to revert back to weekends and bank holidays only, however very urgent requests and support to the donated breastmilk banks continued to be supported mid week if at all possible,” said Charles.
LEBBS needs valuable funds to keep its fleet of 16 charity owned vehicles on the road, with money used for replacement vehicles, vehicle maintenance, fuel, insurance and hi-viz jackets.