Why I volunteer…
“As a keen motorcyclist since my teens, when I rode a BSA Bantam to-from college every day, I joined the Northumbria Advanced Motorcyclists (NAM) in 2011 when I purchased a Yamaha FJR 1300. Joining NAM and the IAM and gaining the advanced rider qualification was just what I needed but although I continued to use the bike for both commuting and pleasure, I often thought that it would be nice to have a purpose too. It was during one of many NAM meetings that a member of the Northumbria Blood Bikes with a liveried bike (and an FJR to boot) attended and a discussion with him prompted my first interest.
The challenge however was that in my previous occupation as a Civil Servant engaged in Resilience i.e. response to flooding etc, it was difficult to identify guaranteed times when I would be available. In the world of Resilience Response part of my role was to be on call 24/7 but in that I met and worked alongside many of civil responders (Police, Fire and Ambulance); it was not difficult to understand how the lives of our emergency responders can be so rewarding and perhaps some of that enthusiasm rubbed off.
Consequently and having retired in February 2018, I joined as a Volunteer Rider in March and am now at the final stage of training with the assessed ride and accompanied delivery to complete, prior to being able to fully contribute to Northumbria Blood Bikes with a defined and rewarding purpose. Having worked both ‘days and nights’, I am no stranger to working through the silent hours and in truth those who do work ‘nights’ do speak of that particular aspect i.e. that of being awake and responsible whilst others sleep.
If I was asked of my experiences or most memorable moment as a Northumbria Blood Bike member since joining, my answer would be the camaraderie that I experienced at my induction meeting and the sense of being a member of a team with a common interest – with that defined purpose of riding a motorbike for the relief of others. It doesn’t get better than that!
My name is Charles Wood MBE 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