Warwickshire and Solihull Blood Bikes raised more than £4,000 in gifts for around 175 children who were hospitalised over Christmas. 100 volunteers on their bikes were able to drop presents during the ‘Toy Run’ at the entrances of Walsgrave, Rugby and Warwick Hospitals before Christmas with the involvement of Warwickshire Police, the Hospitals and Committee Members. With so many gifts donated, Blood Bikes were also able to deliver toys to Coventry Haven Women’s Aid and Broad Park House, a Centre for children and young people with disabilities.
In the past the volunteers have bought presents through traditional fund-raising, but this was not possible due to the pandemic. A campaign which was launched just days before Christmas saw the public and businesses donate generously in a short period of time. As well as brand new toys, £820 was collected on the day of the main Toy Run to Walsgrave Hospital which was made up to £1,000 by Coventry Building Society and members. This money is going towards Abbeys Hideaway, a charity devoted to quality of life for children with cancer.
Blood Bikes is a registered charity that transports urgent samples of blood, COVID, human tissue and urgent medical supplies through their volunteers across Warwickshire’s network of hospitals. Volunteers including riders and drivers offer this service free of charge to the NHS providing a weekday out of hours service and 24/7 weekend and bank holiday cover. The Toy Run, which has been running for the last 8 years, has seen the group raise thousands of pounds for children over the years.
Phil Evans, a Trustee and one of the volunteers said “We were overwhelmed by the generosity of donations and would like to thank everyone involved for their support. Our volunteers were able to deliver a substantial number of toys to children in several hospitals putting a smile on their faces. Although we were not physically able to deliver the toys to the children, we have received many emails and comments via our Facebook page saying how much they enjoyed seeing the bikes and from the nurses saying how much the children enjoyed their gifts”.