Blood Bikes Volunteers Provide Essential Artery for NHS

Local man volunteers spare time to Shropshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire Blood Bikes.

Stephen Tams Shropshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire Blood Bikes (SSCBB)

Meet Stephen Tams, a keen motorcyclist from Crewe. Steve’s journey with motorbikes started 45 years ago, at the age of 16 when he bought his first motorbike. Following a break from motorcycling, Steve got back to riding in January 2021 when a bike was delivered to his home. Typically, the weather took a turn on the day of its arrival, with snow sticking to the ground for the first time that year, and Steve’s plans of taking his new bike out for a spin were put on hold.

Steve’s story continues with him dedicating his time and passion for motorbikes to help the local community. Steve has signed up to the Shropshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire Blood Bikes (SSCBB), dedicating his Mondays and Tuesdays to the cause.

Over the years Steve has carved out a career in many areas of the motor industry, from LGV driver to driving instructor and fleet trainer. Last October Steve found a local employer who was able to offer him a part-time position, enabling him to dedicate two days per week to volunteering, Steve now works as a part-time receptionist at Swansway Motor Group’s Crewe Volkswagen.

Steve is now learning the ropes in two different roles within the SSCBB. Using his experience as a receptionist, Steve has taken on the position of controller, who works to dispatch riders to their jobs, keeping track of their journey and helping to resolve any issues regarding the delivery. The second position Steve puts his passion for motorbikes into practice, as a rider, he will be making urgent deliveries to hospitals first-hand.

The SSCBB are a charity that transports urgent medical items to the hospitals within the area, these items could be blood, breast milk, patient notes and even small surgical tools. If an item is deemed as an emergency, it would be sent in an ambulance, but for all urgent medical items, the blood bikes are dispatched.

Not only do the SSCBB enable these items to be delivered to the hospitals in a timely manner, but it also eliminates the need for hospitals to send urgent items in a taxi, which could cost anywhere between £200 – £300 per trip. The charity is 100% volunteers and receives no government or NHS funding.

Stephen Tams Shropshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire Blood Bikes (SSCBB)

Steve commented “My first few shifts have been fantastic, I’m still finding my feet when it comes to the controller shifts, but there is a great support team on hand to help with any queries I may have.”

Alongside supporting the NHS and improving the quality of care for patients in the Shropshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire areas, the SSCBB aims to promote safer riding standards and a positive image for the motorcycling community.

As a lifelong motorcyclist, this is something that resonated with Steve “Motorcyclists are often negatively stereotyped, the work of the blood bikes is important in changing people’s preconceptions of motorcycling, showing them that it is a positive community to be a part of.”

Steve also explained that blood bikes must always ride within the law. As a controller Steve can track the rider’s speed and location, ensuring riders’ safety and legality at all times.

Lynne Stone, Vice Chair of the Shropshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire Blood Bikes commented “We are proud to have such dedicated and passionate volunteers in SSCBB, they work as a team to serve our local NHS Trusts and we applaud them all.”

You can find out more about the Shropshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire Blood Bikes by visiting their website.