Why I volunteer by Peter McEwen

Kirsty Lawrence's picture

Why I volunteer…
“Over the years I have been very interested in cars. Started Rallying in 1967, joined Mountain Rescue in 1988 and became accredited Blue Light Team Response Driver with Northumbria Police until I retired having received The Queen's Jubilee Medal for Services to Mountain Rescue in 2003. Then took the Advanced driving Test with the IAM and became an Observer.
At the beginning of 2015 I was made aware that NBB were looking for "Advanced Drivers" for their first car - The Yeti. However by the time I had been assessed by Jeff and inaugurated by Barry the 1st BoB car arrived. Regularly drove the BoB car, trying to achieve 4-5 runs a month.
During this period of my involvement the IAM contacted me to ask if I would do an article for their quarterly magazine on a drive in Northumbria. Because I had a 2 seat van at the time, and needed to carry a reporter and photographer they offered to get a vehicle from Nissan.
I immediately saw a possibility of publicity for NBB and asked the IAM that if I could get the loan of the BoB car would they feature it in the article. They agreed, so request was made to the "Committee" who agreed that they would swap the BoB and Yeti cars around for 2 days to allow me to do the article which appeared in the Summer 15 edition of the magazine.
Following on from the article I asked the IAM and my local group if a discounted Advanced Driver scheme could be put in place for NBB Riders who wished to do driving. The IAM agreed to a 10% discount off purchase and the local group agreed to a £25 refund when a NBB Rider past their Driver Test. This scheme is still in place and at our last AGM was extended to include any NBB Member and whist it was to run initially for a year, has now been extended indefinitely.
My current roles are Observing NBB members to achieve Driver Status and also I am now a NBB Assessor and carry out NBB Drivers yearly reassessments.
Memorable moment - assisting Ronnie and Debbie to achieve Advanced Driver status.
Best thing, a few years ago, having done a BoB run the night before, I was at the scene of a cyclist heart attack when the Air Ambulance landed and the Air Medics arrived with the very BoB box I had delivered the night before, made it all worthwhile.
Something positive -assisting members to become "drivers" and all the new friends I have met.
My name is Peter McEwen and that’s why I volunteer for Northumbria Blood Bikes.”
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