Vintage car enthusiast, Paul Fahie, took to the road in his favourite vintage 1926 Morris Cowley to thank Blood Bike group, the Yeovil FreeWheelers, for their support to the NHS and to help raise much needed funds to keep the FreeWheelers on the road.
Paul needs frequent blood transfusions, or ‘oil changes’ as he refers to them in order to stay alive. As these transfusions increase in frequency, he has become more and more aware of the vital role the volunteer Blood Bikers play in helping the NHS.
During his six-day drive around Somerset and Dorset, Paul also visited many of the hospitals served by the FreeWheelers, including Dorchester County Hospital. Accompanied by a fully equipped support vehicle and BloodBike outriders, starting early each morning, and in the bitter cold, they all simply gritted their teeth and got through it. Receiving a great reception wherever they went, they raised over £3,500.
“These people are the unsung heroes of the NHS,” said Paul. “Every one of them is a volunteer, giving their time completely free of charge, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. And without them, people like me would struggle to get the support we need. I simply want to do what I can to make sure they receive the thanks they deserve and the funds they need to keep doing what they do.”
Tony Coulston from the Yeovil FreeWheelers said of Paul’s efforts, “It was amazing. It went really well. Last year he drove his car 50 miles, this time he drove over 140 miles in just six days!
“Paul’s courageous efforts were absolutely fantastic. I can’t thank him enough. He’s a very ill man, and starting so early and driving all day, that was amazing. We did have back up drivers but didn’t need them, he’s very stoic, it was a seriously impressive effort.
“He raised awareness of what we do significantly, we’re all very impressed and hugely grateful for all he’s done.”
Yeovil FreeWheelers is a registered charity, which was awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service this year, and operates as an emergency courier service free of charge to the NHS. The group was founded in 1978 and today is the longest continually serving Blood Bike group in the UK. Donations can be made on the FreeWheelers website: www.YFWbloodbikes.org/donate