Hazlewoods Magazine: Unsung heroes of 2021 - spotlight on our charity of the year

Published: Thursday 19 May 2022

2021 saw our continued support for charity of the year, Severn Freewheelers, bringing our current total to a fantastic £20,000! For the lifesaving charity, this means they have enough funds to purchase a brand new motorbike for the Gloucester team. Since 2007 the fleet has grown from 20 members and three bikes, to over 150 members, ten bikes and two cars!

As you may know, Severn Freewheelers is a group of advanced motorcyclists providing a free out-ofhours courier service for hospitals in Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, North Wiltshire and Herefordshire
who carry whole blood, pathology samples, patient scans/x-rays, human milk - in fact any medical essentials - between hospitals in the area.

The increased workload for the charity has brought with it increased risk. Last year saw three bikes taken off the road through no fault of the riders meaning our support is more important than ever. All riders involved are well and suffered no serious injuries. 

Per year, Severn Freewheelers require approximately £70,000 to keep their service running and save the NHS more than £450,000. Riders, volunteers and dispatchers work quietly in the background to provide vital support to those in the county and surrounding areas.

For the secret mathematician in all of us, let us have a look at some stats:

A word from our people

Andy Harris, Hazlewoods Social Partner: “It has been great to be able to work with Severn Freewheelers, and we look forward to shining more light on their outstanding work for the final few months as we approach the end of our partnership with them."

Geoff Brown, Coordinator/Dispatcher, Severn Freewheelers (approx. 3,000 jobs): “For me there is a sense of satisfaction when each individual plan comes together. There is great fulfilment when you have solved a problem for a nurse on a ward needing to get meds to a patient recently discharged, or the pharmacist who needs drugs for a patient and they are out of stock, or the lab technician who needs a specialist test undertaken for a seriously ill patient at a remote site. At times it can feel like being a cross between a bomb aimer and a detective. When we deliver meds to private addresses this can be ‘The Old Rectory, village in Wiltshire, Postcode’. The postcode gets the rider close but at night with no streetlights it is sometimes not obvious and the coordinator has to step in to guide the rider.”

Tim Kidwell, Rider, Severn Freewheelers (222 jobs covering approx. 8,000 miles): “Severn Freewheelers allows motorbike enthusiasts to give something back to the NHS and society as a whole. On the plus side, riders know that they are providing a valuable, yet free, service to the four NHS Trusts involved. There are amazingly positive people involved in all parts of the operation - from nurses to patients - offering a smile and a warm welcome to riders. On the minus side, it's often cold and wet with some very long hours. However, on the whole, why wouldn’t anyone want to ride someone else’s (great) bike on someone else’s fuel and insurance in a beautiful part of the country, whilst doing something really worthwhile?”


If you would like to join us in our fundraising efforts, visit our GoFundMe page here. bit.ly/Hazlewoods_charity