The new Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers (SERV) Blood Bike Headquarters in Kent was officially opened this past Monday by four-time MCE British Superbike Champion, Shane Byrne.
Byrne was on hand to open the new headquarters on-behalf of John Surtees MBE and The Henry Surtees Foundation.
The Kent SERV Blood Bikes Charity are a part of The Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes, alongside seven other branches.
Despite being formed 20 years ago, the Kent branch of the charity has never had its own private headquarters until now.
The new headquarters is located on Farthing Corner at the M2 services and will serve as the central hub for the charity’s lifesaving work.
The new base contains garaging and welfare facilities as well as a training suite for the team of volunteers who help run the charity.
At the opening, Byrne said: “I was absolutely honoured to be asked to represent John Surtees OBE and The Henry Surtees Foundation to officially open the SERV (Kent) Headquarters on his behalf. Charities like the Blood Bikes and Air Ambulances do an incredible job.
“I hope that I will never need their services, but it’s a charity that resonates with me and fellow bikers. I’ve chased time at race tracks in pursuit of podiums, but for the likes of the Air Ambulances and Blood Bike groups, every second can literally be the matter of life or death. These new headquarters are easily accessible will enable them to continue their vital lifesaving work across the county”
The SERV Blood Bike volunteers are on duty every night and throughout the day during the weekends to transport vital items such as blood, vaccines and x-rays.
The Henry Surtees Foundation have supported the SERV Kent over the past few years and helped to fund the recent ‘Blood on Board’ project alongside the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance.
The project involves SERV Blood Bike riders delivering blood to the Air Ambulance every night so that medics on board can transfuse blood immediately at the scene of an accident.
Mel Johnson, Secretary for SERV Kent, said “We are delighted that Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne was able to open the premises on behalf of the Henry Surtees Foundation. We all appreciate his support. Over the past three years of working with John Surtees, The Henry Surtees Foundation and The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust we have had a huge boost both financially and with raising our profile. This boost has helped us make this significant step forward enabling us to open our new Head Office which will further enhance and improve our quality of service to both the NHS and our Charity Partners’”
The Blood on Board project has been used over a 100 times so far and has now been replicated by SERV branches in Northumbria and Cumbria.