Royal Support for Norfolk Blood Bikes’ New Car
Volunteers for the charity Norfolk Blood Bikes were proud to be joined by His Majesty The King for the presentation of a new vehicle, sponsored by the Sandringham Association of Royal Warrant Holders (SARWH), at Sandringham House in May. His Majesty spoke to the dedicated volunteers and fundraisers about the work of the charity and the fundraising efforts of the SARWH.
The Norfolk Blood Bike’s new Ford Focus was purchased after a year-long fundraising effort by SARWH and made possible by the generosity of Royal Warrant Holders, local businesses, and residents. The £15,500 donation for the vehicle was presented to the Norfolk Blood Bikes at their AGM at the end of September 2022. With the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II just weeks before, donors appreciated the opportunity to dedicate the car in memory of the much loved and respected Monarch.
The fully liveried car will be based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn. It will facilitate the transport blood, plasma, platelets, samples, vaccines, donor breast milk and any other urgently required medical items to hospitals in Norfolk and Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge as well as to the East Anglian Air Ambulance. The service operates whatever the weather, 365 days a year.
Run entirely by local volunteers, Norfolk Blood Bikes has around 90 active members spread across the county. These members are the ‘lifeblood’ of the charity, the fundraisers, committee members, controllers as well as those who ride or drive, all working as a team to provide a professional urgent transport service for the NHS. Every team member donates their time and often their expenses to ensure that the NHS does not incur any cost for this service. The charity is 100% volunteer run, 100% charity funded.
In the past year, 2,208 tasks were undertaken covering 154,975 miles, 31% of which were urgent and 19% carried out for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn.
Jim Duncan, Chairman of the Norfolk Blood Bikes said, “The Sandringham Association of Royal Warrant Holders has raised an amazing amount of money for us, this has enabled us to replace one of our well used cars. The charity has a fleet of 12 motorbikes and 4 cars that are deployed across the county, so this donation has made a real difference to our objective of delivering a free out of normal working hour’s courier service to the National Health Service. Thank you for your generosity, it really is very much appreciated.”
Each SARWH member has the opportunity to be elected and appointed as President of SARWH for one year. On appointment, the President announces the charity which will be the beneficiary of the association’s annual fundraising events. At the AGM in 2021, Simon Ridgway, grantee of Simon Ridgway Ltd was elected as President and dedicated his fundraising year to Norfolk Blood Bikes.
The SARWH annual fundraising events include:
- Clay Shoot – organised by Robert Moore, Council Member/London Representative, Agri-Cycle Ltd
- Golf Tournament – organised by Michael Carter, Honorary Member, retired from Edmundson Electrical Ltd, King’s Lynn
- Sandringham Flower Show Marquee – positioned at the end of the Royal Procession at the show, offering hospitality to members and their guests, and a base to enjoy the show
- Bowling Tournament – organised by Valerie Williamson, Honorary Member and the Runcton Holme Bowls Club
Generous donations to auctions, raffles and the flower show tombola from Royal Warrant Holders, Simon’s clients, local businesses including the caterers in the marquee at the Sandringham Flower Show, Florentina, as well as those who bid at the events, culminated in an unprecedented amount of money being raised. Simon would like to thank his clients and members for their generosity in donating a holiday home on the Norfolk coast, Superbike tickets, a Fairfax and Favor handbag, a Lock & Co voucher for a hat, a Wrought Iron and Brass Bed Company voucher, plus a few others that were successfully auctioned at the Sandringham Flower Show.
SARWH President 2021-22 Simon Ridgway, said: “My wife Alison and I are delighted with the donation for such a worthwhile charity. I have Alison to thank for recognising the Norfolk Blood Bikes’ uniform worn by Paul Southwell at the retirement function of the previous Estate Manager in May 2018 at Sandringham House. Paul was on duty that day and Alison enquired about his role as a volunteer. We were impressed by Paul’s dedication as a volunteer and how the local community and NHS benefited.”
£2,000 was granted towards the President’s Charity by The Charity Fund of the Royal Warrant Holder’s Association, chaired at that time by Nick Farrow from Farrows Ltd.
A further £2,000 was donated by a generous Royal Warrant Holding company.
To find out more about the Norfolk Blood Bikes, to volunteer or to donate, please visit http://norfolkbloodbikes.org.uk/.
Photo credit: Nick Farrow – Farrows Ltd
Left to right:
Johan Huibers – SARWH Vice President, Tamar Nurseries Ltd
Valerie Williamson – SARWH Honorary Member – organiser of the Charity Bowls Tournament
Geoff Bottom – SARWH Council Member, Witham Group Ltd – contribution to setting up SARWH Marquee, Sandringham Flower Show
Adrian Cox – SARWH Council Member, Edmundson Electrical
Jan Luck – SARWH Assistant Honorary Secretary 2021-2022 & Honorary Treasurer
Michael Carter – SARWH Honorary Member, Edmundson Electrical – organiser of the Charity Golf Tournament
Jim Duncan – Chairman, Norfolk Blood Bikes
Alix Freeman – Events Manager, Norfolk Blood Bikes
Shane Finch – Fleet Manager, Norfolk Blood Bikes
Trevor Beckford – Treasurer, Norfolk Blood Bikes
HM King Charles III
Paul Southwell – Volunteer, Norfolk Blood Bikes (behind car)
Simon Ridgway – SARWH President 2021-2022
Alison Ridgway – SARWH Madam President 2021-2022
Ray Luck – SARWH Honorary Secretary 2021-2022
Sarah Haime – SARWH Honorary Secretary
Robert Moore – SARWH Council Member, Agri-Cycle Ltd – organiser of Charity Clay Shoot
Nick Farrow – SARWH Council Member & Retired RWHA Charity Fund Chairman
Lee Dawson – SARWH President, Samuel Brothers (St Paul’s) Ltd