Why I volunteer by Joe Parkin

Kirsty Lawrence's picture

Why I volunteer…

“I first heard about Northumbria Blood Bikes from a friend who knew I was retiring and looking for something to do. In December 2016, the day after my birthday, I took my first shift as a controller. I wanted to ride bikes for the charity, but did not have an advance rider qualification, so what else could I do? I found out, that controllers were a little bit like hens teeth, so I thought, that's where I would be most appreciated. It turns out I was correct. Boiling it down, it’s an ego thing. I want to help in the best way I can. How can I help the most? By offering the help most needed.

As a controller, (I passed my advanced very recently, so might take shifts on), I can help a charity to maintain a higher efficiency of response with basic skills in coordinating.
It is so enjoyable, it takes over a bit of my life, but I can pick it up and put it down as it suits. I used to work in mining, underground, so I can absolutely say the best thing I’ve experienced since joining is the camaraderie, pure and simple.

The most memorable thing is probably the fear I first met when I had my first shift. A fear that has been consigned to the past by Debbie, who among others have made the control job a lot easier, but more importantly accessible to other people willing to help. I love the idea that people are phoning me to ask little questions they are unsure of; it means we are helping each other, to help the cause.

If you’re thinking about volunteering… do it! You are not alone, we are here to help, and believe it or not we love to help. I have over 100 shifts in now. Join us, take it at your own pace and enjoy the help.

My name is Joe Parkin and that’s why I volunteer for Northumbria Blood Bikes.”

To sign up or for more information on the roles visit: http://www.northumbriabloodbikes.org.uk/support/volunteer