Yeovil Hospital’s League of Friends donated £6,300 to Yeovil Freewheelers to cover the running cost of a vital blood bike for the year.

Yeovil Freewheelers provides emergency courier relief to countless NHS organisations in Somerset and Dorset, carrying blood, medicines, samples and medical equipment to name a few, between hospitals, care homes, patients and laboratories. The team consists of around 70 members and a fleet of eight motorcycles and is entirely funded by charitable donations.

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the fleet volunteered to taking on double the workload for Yeovil Hospital and other surrounding hospitals, which included the daily delivery of thousands of COVID-19 swabs for testing daily. Throughout this period, the team covered nearly 25,000 miles a month; compared to the 10,000 they were doing pre-COVID. 

Yeovil Freewheelers Chairman Ian Piper said: “I am incredibly proud of our members and the way they responded to an enormous increase in workload at a time when their own lives were in turmoil.”

The biggest challenge for the team was having access to enough funds to keep their fleet going. As a charity, most of their income comes from fundraising at outdoor events, that have been cancelled for the time being. In a bid to boost funds, Ian and the team approached Yeovil Hospital’s League of Friends who were more than happy to support the Freewheelers’ vital work.

League of Friends’ Nici Wardell said: “The Yeovil Freewheelers do an amazing job throughout the year and really stepped up in a time of great need. We couldn’t be prouder to help support such an important service, which has helped save countless lives.”

Ian added: “I am extremely grateful to the Leagues of Friends, without whom we would have struggled to continue to provide the service at the requested level. Fundraising is still a challenge but, thanks to the Friends and the members of the public who still find our website, we are now more likely to be able to cope with any future peaks of infection.”


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