Volunteers SERV up a new vehicle for blood donations in West Norfolk

SERV Norfolk chairman Colin Farrington with QEH League of Friends secretary Carol Crake and the new car named in her honour.
SERV Norfolk chairman Colin Farrington with QEH League of Friends secretary Carol Crake and the new car named in her honour.

Volunteer drivers will now be able to deliver emergency blood donations and breast milk in a new car thanks to the generosity of volunteers.

SERV Norfolk (Service by Emergency Response Volunteers) has been able to replace its ageing blood car with a £15,800 Volvo V40 to make urgent deliveries of blood and breast milk across the region.

SERV Norfolk chairman Colin Farrington with QEH League of Friends secretary Carol Crake and the new car named in her honour.

SERV Norfolk chairman Colin Farrington with QEH League of Friends secretary Carol Crake and the new car named in her honour.

The new car has been funded thanks to a £12,300 donation from the QEH League of Friends along with a further £3,600 from a golf day organised by Judy Bailey.

While SERV is well-known for its blood bikes, the team also requires a car to cover multiple deliveries along with ensuring that blood donations do not fall below four degrees during the winter months.

The new car was presented during a ceremony at North Lynn Fire Station on Thursday, August 10, which was attended by SERV volunteers and League of Friends members, including the president, Valeria, Viscountess Coke.

SERV Norfolk Chairman Colin Farrington, a retired firefighter, said: “This new car is going to save the charity a lot of money.

“Our previous blood car, which was also funded by The League of Friends, was beginning to become quite costly due to repairs and running costs.

“Thanks to the League of Friends and the golfers, our running costs will be now reduced which will enable to direct our limited funds to the most appropriate direction.

“I would like to thank the League of Friends for their tremendous support since SERV was founded.”

SERV relies on volunteers to run the service and currently has 75 drivers on their books.

The volunteer drivers do not just cover the Norfolk hospitals but can also make special deliveries to the London, Cambridge and beyond.

The League of Friends donates around £80,000 each year to The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, which has also funded a range of equipment including chest compression devices, patient pagers, recliner chairs along with a “blood” motorbike for SERV.

The money is raised thanks to the hard work of volunteers in the hospital shop along with bequests and donations.

There is a tradition of naming the vehicles after previous and current committee members and the new car will be named after the secretary, Carol Crake.

Chairman of the League of Friends Tom Greenacre said: “We would not be able to support this worthwhile charity without the support of the public and the dedicated volunteers.”

Judy Bailey and friends helped to raise £3,600 for the charity during a very sduccessful golf day which was held at Bawburgh Golf Club in June.

- If you would like to learn more about volunteering with the League of Friends contact chairman Tom Greenacre on 01553 842258.

- For more information on SERV Norfolk go to: www.servnorfolk.org.uk.