2019 has been yet another exceptional year for Shropshire Staffordshire Cheshire Blood Bikes. Membership numbers are up, partly due to the positive coverage Blood Bikes got on BBC’s One Show and partly due to the increased public awareness through our talk and event attendance. Our current membership stands at 380.
The bikes of course remain at the heart of our operation and we currently have 15 liveried blood bikes which allows us to run our service efficiently. Of course, the bikes work hard so over the course of the year some have retired and replaced with new. These replacements are paid for as a result of the tremendous work our fund-raising team do. Some however are replaced as the result of a single act of generosity such as a Stafford family who bought us a new Yamaha FJR 1300, which is called ‘Rich’ in memory of their son who died earlier this year. Some good news from Government – from 2020, we will no longer have to pay road tax on the bikes.
We continue to be a very busy services and as of the beginning of December, we have reached a total of 17,750 ‘shouts’ since we started in February 2014. In the past 12 months we have ridden 220,304 miles, the busiest area being Shropshire who have ridden over 80,000 miles. In addition to the services (products carried) that you will be aware of, we were recently asked to pick up placentas to go into Birmingham for examination and analysis. They were from mothers who had miscarried and not gone to full term, the analysis is intended to help understand possible causes. This year, we were asked to become the national coordinators of the FMT (Faecal Matter Transplants) roll out and so take all calls and then coordinate with other BB groups for out of area deliveries.
Our fundraising team have been busy again attending events, giving talks and increasingly engaging with businesses who make us their ‘charity of the year’. One Burton based company has done this for 3 years now and the money their employees have raised an amazing £42,000. Of course, fundraising never stops. Our operating costs this year were in excess of £100,000 and next year may be greater given the increasing demands on our service, plus of course the usual inflationary pressures we all face.
Heartfelt thanks from all at SSCBB for your continued support and we hope 2020 will be a happy and prosperous year for you.