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MP?meets Freewheelers’ volunteers
Friday, 24 January 2014
MP Neil Parish has been given the grand tour of the Devon Freewheelers headquarters in Honiton.
The Freewheelers are volunteer emergency couriers for the NHS, operating throughout Devon.
During the visit Mr Parish met a number of the riders, who impressed him with their dedication to maintaining the crucial delivery of blood, tissue for transplant and breast milk to hospitals across Devon.
He said: “I am hugely supportive of the great work being done by the Devon Freewheelers.
“They are unsung heroes and more people should be aware of the organisation and the service it provides.
“If it didn’t exist, the cost to the NHS would be immense.”
He was reportedly surprised to learn that the charity receives no funding from the government and pledged he would be looking for ways to help the charity and its counterparts across the country, particularly with regard to securing permanent financial support.
“It’s possible that we could find a central source of funding for the basic requirements, such as fuel and insurance,” he explained.
“It costs in the region of £100,000 to keep the bikes on the road each year, and the service is currently kept operational purely by the dedicated work of fundraisers and corporate sponsors from all areas of Devon.”
Devon Freewheelers CEO Daniel Lavery, said: “There’s no doubt that our couriers save lives every single day.
“It would make such a difference if permanent funding could be secured, not only for the service in Devon but for the other blood bike groups in the UK who provide the same service to their own local hospitals.”
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