Masons donate funds for vital blood car to transport supplies to hospitals
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A new car will help carry vital blood donations around the region and beyond.
The money for the new Ford Focus estate was donated by the Masons to the Service by Emergency Response Volunteers (SERV) Norfolk Blood Bikes.
The donation came from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of East Anglia and the Mark Benevolent Fund made a grant of £16,000.
SERV Norfolk Blood Bikes transports vital supplies like blood, plasma, platelets, samples, vaccines, donor breast milk and any other urgently required medical items to hospitals.
Provincial grand master Paul Norman said he was delighted to present the vehicle to the charity at a special event at the Great Yarmouth Masonic Centre in Great Yarmouth on Friday.
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Handing the keys over, Mr Norman said: 'May she serve you well, long and true.'
Chairman and operations manager of SERV Norfolk Blood Bikes Colin Farrington thanked the lodge for their generous donation.
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Trustee at the Mark Benevolent Fund Peter Rollin said: 'We thought this was particularly worthwhile scheme to support and it was a good idea to get them a new car for East Anglia.'
Treasurer at SERV Norfolk Keith Grisedale said: 'The support we have got from the Masons has been second to none. Getting presented with this car is the icing on the cake.'
The new car brings their total for four for the region, meaning volunteers will no longer have to use their own vehicles.
Although they mainly use motorcycles, cars are used during freezing temperatures in winter and also bad weather.
SERV Norfolk is run entirely by unpaid volunteers who receive no financial compensation.
They operate at night, daytime weekends and bank holidays and the service is provided completely free of charge.
The cars and bikes do not operate under blue lights, meaning they must obey the Highway Code and stick to speed limits.
The charity was set up by a group of Surrey motorcyclists in 1981 after they learnt that hospitals spent very significant sums of money on out of hours transport.
They decided to set up a professionally run medical transport service to allow the NHS to divert funds into patient care.