Recent Group Wide Mails & Notices

Here is a copy of group wide emails sent over the last 6 months or so.
(note: this list does not generally include the operational “shout outs” to d
rivers / riders to fill shifts)


30th July 2019
How to check Group Rota and How to Book a Shift

Hello all LRBB members
I get questions coming to me from time to time asking how to check the group rota or book shifts so I have recorded a short, ‘live’ presentation, around 5 minutes long, showing how to check the rota and also how to book a shift.
If you are an ‘old hand’ and know how to do this you can just delete this message. However, sometimes questions come from long standing group members so I am sending this to “all hands”.
I had sent this out back in March / April time so hence in the video I am looking at a previous month’s example to July which is where we are now !  
 
For those of you who already know how to do this no need to look and see, but if you are not sure, grab a few minutes and check the link below to see how to do it.
 
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Ehzfik-ZevGqlRJEzMEkqIhx8BILm_OK/view?usp=sharing
 
Ollie Cufflin      07976 802 956
(Group Chairman)                        


28th July 2019
Group Shift Booking – some coffee break thoughts


Hello all Leicestershire and Rutland Blood Bike members,

We are regularly needing to send out shift booking reminders and “panic shout outs” where we find we have no volunteers who have been able to fill up the shifts. 

We work on a kind of ‘2 week look ahead’.  In the early days we tried to have a 4-week period fully rostered at any point but this ended up as an un-achievable goal. So, we concentrate on a two week look ahead and try to make sure that we have no gaps in any coming 2 week period. In parallel of course our riders / drivers can book well ahead if they are in a position to do that. In fact our web based shift booking option shows the next 100 free shifts which equates to appx 3 months usually.

I thought that it might be useful to put into a numbers perspective our rota filling and shift booking so that as a group we can see that, in theory, we ought not to have too big a problem filling shifts.
However, the theoretical view does not seem to be bourne out in day to day reality. So, I share my overview and my musings on the topic of shift covering which puts the challenges into a perspective for us all in the group.

In a typical 30 day month, assuming 4.5 weekends (some months are 4 weekends and some are 5) we have
– 30 regular night shifts
– 9 regular weekend day shifts
– 22 weekday air ambulance runs and say 4 Sunday night air ambulance runs = 26 in total per typical month

Ignoring milk bank work as this is about once per month and the ‘milk team’ involved therefore each need to cover this once every 3-4 months.

Likewise the new Friday late afternoon runs are covered by a team of 9-10 people and therefore they need to do this once every 2 and a half to 3 months. The shift being typically in the order of 3-4 hours.

So, we end up with regular volunteer shifts totalling 65 shifts for a typical month, more or less. 

As of now we have a total of 53 “active” riders or drivers. (we weed out members who have been silent and dormant for 5-6 months on the assumption they need to allocate their time to other things in life, no problem with that at all. In any volunteer group people will join in and, at some point, need to move on as life needs change for them)

So, in theory we need every “active” rider / driver to be volunteering, on average, once every 24 days. So, a little bit more than once per month.  So, it feels at least, that we ought not to have this regular fire fight shift filling mode.

Now, reality check number 1  . . . . .  of course things happen in life where volunteers need to focus on other things as they crop up.  So, of course not everyone can always volunteer once every month on a continuous basis. And, conversely, some are able to volunteer to 2, 3 or even more times per month as their circumstances allow them to do this.

Reality check number 2:  it seems my assumption that people wanting to volunteer to be a driver or rider for the group, in general, are able to volunteer once per month (or thereabouts) seems somehow flawed and unrealistic. A surprise for me but I accept the reality check (for me at least even if for no-one else) of the last 2 years of trying to make sure as a group we fill the shifts without constant shout outs. 

Interestingly, I have had regular “complaints” from a surprising number of members who object to receiving the repeated “shout outs”. Again, a surprise for me that some volunteers find an email or text requesting help in the group an irritation, but I need to realise and respect that for them they are actually irritated by this. I do respect we are all different and find differing things tolerable or irritating.

Since day 1 of the group we have tried to think of better ways to get shifts booked but thus far have not thought of any that are any more practical than sending out some shout outs. Very time consuming to have to do this, and unfortunately irritating for some, but thus far the only way.  And, by the way, many other groups have the same issue, we are not alone in this challenge.

So, these are just some thoughts and an overview as I do get queries from members about the shout outs and how come we do not manage to fill shifts, how many group members do we have and the like.

We are all doing in the group what we can so thanks to all for the part you play, small or large. We are a team of volunteers.  Paul (Bivins) is doing a sterling job in getting new recruits and once maybe we have 75+ active riders / drivers we will find the need for shouts outs all but goes away. 

Shift filling always available via the members area of the web site, with the regular night shifts always being the ones that get booked last.  If you think you are due to book a shift or two, the next 100 empty shifts are there awaiting you. 

Thanks all, hope that was an informative current overview of the group shifts booking activities.

Ollie Cufflin
(Group Chairman)


6th July 2019

LRBB – LOUGHBOROUGH HOSPITAL FRIDAY DAY-TIME DELIVERIES

We have been in discussion with the NHS Loughborough Hospital “Alliance” team for a considerable time and the good news is that we have now finally made an official start with a Friday afternoon pick up and delivery service in support of their patient care. For those who have been in the group for some time will have seen the activities slowly developing and maybe even wondering if we would ever start.

The Alliance Team at Loughborough is headed by two ladies, Lynn and Bushra, and between them they manager, amongst others, the outlying hospitals at Melton, Oakham, Coalville, Mkt Harborough and Loughborough.

We will have one of our “Friday Team” on the rota for a Friday afternoon and will support the Alliance team with samples pick up and delivery to the same labs as we do with our regular out of hours service at the Sandringham building at the Leicester Royal Infirmary.

Group member Neil Straughan has offered to lead the “Friday Team” and at the moment Neil has  around 8 volunteers able to help. For those who have not already volunteered and are interested in being part of the Friday afternoon team please get in touch with Neil. His mobile number is 07790 574 470. Neil can also be contacted via group email  fridayteam@lrbloodbikes.org.uk (available in a few days from now) or personal mail neilstraughan051@btinternet.com

Neil can give you more details of the workings of the Friday pick ups and deliveries. Depending how many other group members are interested it looks like those willing to ride / drive on a Friday afternoon would need to be rostered every 2 to 3 months.

Those taking part in Friday afternoon activities are of course still very much part of the regular group out of hours shifts and air ambulance shifts. Over the months as discussions have been taking place with the Loughborough Alliance team, the issue of ongoing struggles to fill the “out of hours” rota has been raised. As the “additional” rota time for those volunteering for the Friday runs  is one afternoon every 2 to 3 months it is not considered that the Friday runs should make any additional significant negative impact to our volunteers taking part in out of hours and air ambulance work.

We will, of course, need to pay closer attention to the vehicle allocations for shifts as the Friday afternoon runs will tie up a vehicle until around 6.30pm or thereabouts and this has the potential to clash with vehicle choices for the Air Ambulance runs and for those making an early vehicle pick up for the Friday night shift.

So, great news that as a group we can further help our NHS teams and thanks to Neil for taking a lead in this part of our group activities. We’ll post a photo of the team at Loughborough with the hospital staff taken recently as part of the “kick off” for the Friday work.

As ever, thanks to all group members for being part of the Blood Bike family UK and ireland wide . We can be proud of what we do. We continue to have some loose ends to tie up with our processes and procedures, so please continue to smile as we work through some of those topics, which at times can be frustrating for sure!
 

Ollie Cufflin
(Group Chairman)


June 23rd 2019
LRBB – Group media manager needed

Hello all group members

Malc York has been looking after our “media” activities for some time but due to work and family commitments has needed to stand down from this role.

A very big thanks to Malc for all he has done with the media “stuff” while acting in the role. Malc will still be around in the group as an active member, just stepping down from committee role as media manager.

So, we are looking for a group member who would be willing to step into the role and to proactively manage our media presence (web page, facebook, twitter and the like).

This following role description might help to clarify what we are trying to do in the group related to the media channels.
1. Create and / or maintain group guidelines for how and what to communicate to the public and to “the world” including appropriate guidelines for what and how to share information via media channels
2. Co-ordinate all media relations and keep any details of relationships and activities with media outlets and platforms.
3. Ensure media outlets managed by self or by relevant group members – but have “big picture” knowledge to ensure group is maximising media channels
4. Obtain media “stories” from the group or from group events (means checking what events are coming up and who is  going and making sure obtain  details / pictures for use in media sharing)
5. Be “the face” of the group as needed or arrange a suitable “group face” at media or public events in co-ordination with group chairman

As media manager you’ll also be invited as a committee member to join the monthly committee meetings to share and discuss any media related activities and plans.

If you are interested, or if you would just like to find out a little more please give me a call, 07976 802 956. I estimate this role would take between 1 and 4 hours per week, depending on media needs in any particular week.  Full training and information will of course be given as needed

Thanks all

Ollie Cufflin   (Group Chairman)


17th May 2019
Some Harsh Realities We need to Face

Hello all group members

Please take some time to read this. It relates to the deterioration in group members taking part in group activities and the potential point where we need to question the ability of us to continue functioning as a Blood Bike group.

Before sharing some “tough love” together I need to openly recognise these points

  1. We all have lives and need to do a number of things . . . . work, support family members and family issues and deal with the usual day to day things that come to all of us. Blood Bike work is something we volunteer to do in our free time and we all have differing amounts of free time.
  2. There is a small number of people who are keen to get involved but are awaiting conclusion of training activities or updating of some paperwork so they can get involved. We will try to push these and close them as quickly as possible.
  3. In writing an “all hands tough love” message those people who are in a position to be very active in the group might feel a bit aggrieved at such a “tough love” message. Please do not feel so. My role as chairman is to see the “big picture” and if I see the group ‘in trouble’ I need to alert us
  4. This message is written as an alert for us – not as a criticism. If we are aware of the issues we can work out how to improve together
  5. We need to be realistic. We love the ethos and ideology of Blood Biking. We are involved in what I believe to be very worthy charity.  But the mundane reality of day to day blood biking needs to be able to match the ideals we all believe in.

So, the tough love message is simple – we do not have enough group members able or willing to play an active part in the group without us living “hand to mouth” and scratching around to find people free to help. Two areas of critical concern we need to consider together

  1. Shift booking. Today we reached the worst point since we started over two and half years ago. 20 empty shifts in the next 14 days. We send out week after week pleas for riders / drivers to book shifts. It seems the pleas either fall on deaf ears or our eligible group members are simply not free to take an active part in filling shifts and we are deluding ourselves to think we are in “good shape” in terms of our ability to function as a group. The emails we send all get delivery OK receipts, so they actually do reach the email addresses that members share with us.
    We need to be very realistic – we simply are not getting members to plan and book ahead. Maybe the hope we can together keep just a two week look ahead rota filled is just a deluded hope and, in reality, scratching around day after day is just how it is going to be. I long ago gave up the idea we might be able to plan together a month in advance.
     
  2. Events support – again, in general group members seem unable or unwilling to play their part and support events. Events are the life blood of us running the group financially. Yes, I know there is a minority taking the strain for the whole group, we need to share the burden. Respect to those who are currently taking the strain.
    We try and gently encourage members to play their part in events rather than enforce in some draconian way the membership agreement that members will take part in events.
    I hope we have a group that is enjoyable to be part of and yes a gentle reminder might come from time to time, but I am not in favour of encouraging people with “big stick” as that I fear would just drive people away.
    The harsh reality remains – the majority of group members are not willing / able to support our events. It is not a criticism it is just a reflection of the reality of the situation and once we grasp this reality we can begin to build ideas to improve the situation.

Two very critical actions for us to take together:
(A) If you have no shifts booked in the coming few weeks please can I encourage you to book.

(B) If you are not signed up with Elaine Bivins to support an upcoming event please contact Elaine and get involved. You can contact Elaine at events@lrbloodbikes.org.uk

In parallel we can look at improving some of our “loose ends”.  Processes, documents, forms, communications etc.

I hold up my hands and accept that I also have things I need to be better at as Chairman. There are some paperwork issues I need to tidy up. The tough love message is just as much for me as for all of us.

We are part of a great group and the hospital teams, air ambulance teams, Milk Bank teams and the public in general hold us in great respect.

I hope this message is received in a spirit of goodwill which is what it is intended. Please do not take it as a criticism, I am very aware the danger is some will take it that way. Please don’t.

This is a reminder of the harsh realities we face

We can all be proud of what we are part of but the tough and stark reality is that if we are not able to sort out shift booking and events support then we will just simply stop functioning. Together let’s fix that.
 
Ollie Cufflin
(Group Chairman)                       



2nd May 2019
Large Financial Donation Received

Some great news,

One of our members was contacted by the Trustees of a charity in Leicestershire that was closing. They shared with the trustees our group’s goals and aims and what we do day to day.

The outcome of the discussions led to the recent receipt from the closing charity of a cheque to the value of £20,000!  (twenty thousand pounds)  Fantastic

The donating trustees wanted the money to be used to buy a new bike or to replace any aging bikes in the fleet and money left after the purchase to be used for servicing and maintenance of that bike.

This is the largest donation we have received and a great encouragement to us that the trustees of the closing charity considered our goals, aims and achievements worthy of their donation.

Jonathan (Bostock) will share a fleet update at the supporters meeting including plans / actions related specifically to the donation
 
Ollie Cufflin
(Group Chairman)                      


18th April 2019
Chairman’s Note About Driving License Checks

Hello all group members

A note from me as Chairman regarding driving license checks that Paul Bivins carries out for all those members driving any of our group vehicles.

I had a short chat with Paul to get an update on license checks as part of general group management and he shared with me that a number of group members have failed to respond despite multiple attempts to contact them.

As Chairman please let me share why we do this in case anyone is not aware.

We have an obligation to ensure those using our group vehicles are properly covered on the group insurance and that includes a “regular check” (we adopt an annual check in line with common practise)  that people have a valid driving license and that any endorsements are notified to our insurers. Where we are not able to demonstrate a valid license check has been carried out then there is the potential that those people are not covered on the group insurance policy. As with any insurance related topics we expect group members using group vehicles to tell us if their license status has changed as and when it occurs and not just at the time of the annual check. Not informing us of changes might invalidate insurance cover.
Paul shared with me that a number of licenses that have been checked do not have the correct home address showing. It is a legal requirement that your driving license has your correct home address details. There is a penalty for failing to have the correct address on your license of up to £1,000. (please check government web sites for yourselves if you are not aware of this)

Please support Paul with these license checks. If you consider that such checks are not needed or are “overkill” please take up the topic with me as Paul is simply trying to ensure insurance compliance for all our drivers and riders and is not carrying out license checks as a random admin activity.
If you are one of the people who have still not responded to Paul’s request please help us and do so. Paul needs
(1) A copy of the DVLA license summary you can download from the DVLA webside and
(2) A copy of the front and the back of your driver license card or old paper style license if you still have one.
Many thanks for those who have responded already

Thanks all, hope that is a helpful backdrop to the license checks.

Ollie Cufflin
(Group Chairman)                        

 

 


2nd April 2019

Sad Passing of Former Group Member Chris Moore

Hello LRBB members

After 20 months battling cancer, group member and Blood Biker Chris Moore sadly passed away on the 25th March.

Chris had completed a night shift for our group and the following day suffered a seizure caused by a brain tumour and at that point stood down from active service in our group.

Chris”s funeral is on Wednesday 10th April at Syston Church. After the service he will be taken to Loughborough Crematorium.

At the moment Rodger Williamson is in consultation re the possibility of a Blood Bike escort from Syston to Loughborough Crematorium. This is something Chris had wanted  The funeral service will be well attended Chris was also well known in the brass band world.

Rodger or I will update details when known regarding Blood Bike escort

I will send a letter of condolence to Chris’ wife and family on behalf of the group


Ollie Cufflin
(Group Chairman)                      


2nd April 2019
Group Wide Communications and Information Flow

Hello all LRBB members

If you would like to get an overview of how we try and make sure we communicate news and information alerts to group members, please go to the group web site and the members area.  We have a number of “operating procedures” which we try to use to have a number of clear modes of working across our group.

One of the procedures is a summary of how we try to effectively communicate. OP021 covers our means of communications. In summary our main “official” channel is always to your email address, but you’ll see in the process how we also use text / whatsapp messaging to support that email information.   All group wide email messages are also available on the members area of the web site covering all messages sent in previous few months. Check there to make sure you have seen all the news and alerts.
 
Regarding WhatsApp we now have two groups

(a) informal chat (read / write for group members).  Totally informal chit chat
to join this group if you are not in it use this link to join
  https://chat.whatsapp.com/0o4Q2Sr5msxI0wCj088GcD

(b) formal alerts (read only for group members)
to join this group if you are not in it use this link to join 
  https://chat.whatsapp.com/KsYLczsyssl9dvHheHwRjZ

Thanks all
Ollie Cufflin    (Group Chairman)


24th February 2019
LRBB – Shift Booking – Chairman’s Comments 

Hello all LRBB group members

For those of you on the active rider / driver list you’ll have noticed fewer “shout outs” going out to get shift gaps filled.
This is excellent news as we are getting more people to be more proactive in booking shifts ahead meaning much less panic for those trying to get the rota filled. So, a big thank you to those of you who are taking that pro-active approach.

In addition, we have a number of new members who are really giving us a great boost in getting the empty shifts filled. So, another welcome to all those joining in the last few months, great to have you in the team and great that you are giving such a valuable boost to keeping things running smoothly

As an extra note about shift “shout outs” those of you who are booking ahead will also receive less of the ‘shout outs’ as we are trying to, in general, send the ‘shout outs’ to those riders / drivers who have no shifts booked in the weeks ahead in the belief that it will be those people who are most likely to be able to check and fill dates.  Apologies if occasionally you HAVE booked a shift and the cross check has been not quite 100% and you still get the reminder. The targeted shout outs are not meant as a criticism of non-booking but more a (hopefully) friendly reminder to see if you can help.

In general, if we are looking 2 weeks ahead at any point in time, some months ago we were regularly getting more than 10 empty shifts in a ‘shout out’. We are now down maybe 4 or 5 and often sometimes less than that.

Any comments about the rota or group operations “stuff” please contact Jonathan Bostock,  operations@lrbloodbikes.org.uk

So, great steps forward everyone. As ever, it is all about team work, if everyone plays their part then the “big wheel keep turning” relatively smoothly.

Ride / drive safe out there all, catch up sometime soon.

Ollie Cufflin
(Group Chairman)


19th February 2019

OPERATIONS NEWS UPDATE

Hello all LRBB Members,

Thank you for taking time to read this latest operations update.  A mixed update, with a request for information from all members and a gentle reminder of our individual compliance requirements!

1. New Van – A very big thank you to Emma Jones for speaking to the team at Reflex Vehicle Hire, as we have recently taken delivery of a new Mercedes van, which fills the gap left by the ending of the Drive sponsorship and return of their combo van.  We are currently waiting on Reflex approving our PR statement and once this has been completed we will be able to share photographs and an update from the handover event.

2.  Yamaha FJR – The FJR is currently off the road due to damage sustained on an operational run, when our duty rider hit debris left in the carriageway on the M1 following an earlier collision.  The front wheel has been damaged and we are now in the process of making a claim for the damage.  Please bear with us as this process is now in the hands of our insurers.  For the time being the F800 and BMW 1200 will be located at Coleman road and will not be rotated until we can move the the FJR to a Yamaha dealership to be repaired.

3. BMW 1200 – Please can all riders remember to switch off the sat nav and heated grips once the post checks have been completed.  We have had a number of instances where the battery has gone flat, as these have inadvertently been left on.  With us being down to two bikes, it will impact our flexibility if we cannot use the BMW whilst we wait for re charging and battery replacement.

4. License and Speed Checks – Please can those members that have not yet replied to Paul Bivins with their license checks and annual membership renewals complete these as quickly as possible.  It is a pre requisite that we complete annual checks, to ensure that we are compliant with our insurers policy requirements.  If we fail to comply with this request, we may invalidate our insurance policy.

We must also take this opportunity to remind all riders and drivers that we do not condone speeding and as a group we do not allow speeding.  Recent checks have identified a number of members who are breaking the speed limits and we will write to these individuals to remind them of the group’s rules as well as the speed limits that we must adhere to.

Please also note that the Reflex van is fitted with a tracker and camera, which is tracked and monitored by them, as part of their commitment to road safety and the safe use of hire vans.  When taking the van on it was a pre requisite that we accept these trackers and if we have drivers breaking the speed limits we may lose the vehicle, which would have a significant impact on our effectiveness and more importantly bring the charity into disrepute.

Thank you
Kind regards

Jonathan Bostock
Operations Manager
operations@lrbloodbikes.org.uk


17th January 2019
LRBB Annual Membership Renewal Process

Dear LRBB Supporters

LRBB have to carry out regular driver license checks which are held on our records and provided to our insurance company  as and when required.  We also have a duty of care in law to ensure that our riders and drivers are compliant, holding a current driving license for our vehicles.  To this end, it has been decided to conduct the license checks each year upon the renewal of our annual membership.

The committee have also decided that, to simplify the renewal process, all membership renewal’s will be set in January each year, irrespective of their original joining date.  In an attempt to make this fair to all, anyone who has paid their renewal since June 2018 will not pay again until January 2020.  Anyone paying before June 2018 will be asked to pay now.
Anyone joining the group in the future, in the first 6 months of a year will be asked to pay the full amount, months 7-9 at half rate, and if joining in the last 3 months of the year  their membership will cover the remaining part of the year and the following full year.

The easiest way to pay your membership fee of £12 is via BT My Donate, through our LRBB website.
Once done, please send me your Driver License Summary check, obtained from the DVLA website, together with a current passport style photo plus a copy of the front and back of your driver license. I will also need your current ERS, ROSPA or IAM  qualification.
I will then send you a new ID card.

If you have any questions relating to the above, please do not hesitate to contact me:

supporters@lrbloodbikes.org.uk     or Mobile:  07563 677 406

Kind regards

Paul Bivins
LRBB Supporters


16th December 2018

LRBB – Group Committee Overview

Hello all LRBB group members

I thought it might be useful to share by email an overview / reminder of who is taking part in our group committee and what their roles are. Details are shown on our web site under tab “committee” but here is an overview by email for you with email contacts if you need to send them any mails. You can find mobile contact numbers also on the members section of the web site

Ollie Cufflin
(Group Chairman)
******************************************************************
Oliver Cufflin (Chairman) – chairman@lrbloodbikes.org.uk
Ollie is responsible for the group as a whole, making sure we achieve what we set out to do and trying to keep us moving in the right direction.

Jonathan Bostock (Vice Chairman) – chairman@lrbloodbikes.org.uk
Jonathan’s role as vice chairman is to be aware of all that the chairman is involved in and to be able to stand-in and represent the group if the Chairman is not available to do so. (Jonathan also is our group Operations Manager)

Paul Bivins (Membership) – supporters@lrbloodbikes.org.uk
Paul co-ordinates the new member activities in group. Paul Bivins is supported by Paul Johnson with some of the day to day activities with getting new people actively involved in the group

Paul Johnson (Stores and Equipment) – contact via email  supporters@lrbloodbikes.org.uk
Paul manages our “stores”, looking after our clothing and equipment used for events and day to day running of the group

Ebrahim Ahmed & Aimee Hurst (Treasurers) – treasurer@lrbloodbikes.org.uk
Ebrahim and Aimee together take care of our finances and book-keeping activities

Jonathan Bostock (Operations Manager) – operations@lrbloodbikes.org.uk
Jonathan is responsible for day to day operational issues and all things related to our vehicle fleet. In addition Richard manages our our rotas and chases various paperwork topics.

Les Congdon & Andy Bryant (Fleet Managers) – fleet@lrbloodbikes.org.uk
Les and Andy are supporting the operational side of the group alongside Jonathan. There are many little “bits and pieces” that need managing to keep the vehicles rolling and Les/ Andy are there to help get it all running as smoothly as possible

Malc York (Media Co-ordinator) –  media@lrbloodbikes.org.uk
Malc is working to keep our media interfaces (facebook / web pages and the like) active with current news and information.
If you have any pictures or news that you think would be useful to include on the media platforms please email Malc and let him know your ideas.

Elaine Bivins  (Events Co-ordinator) –  events@lrbloodbikes.org.uk
Elaine is heading up our fund raising events team. If you have any ideas for future events, or feedback on recent events please drop a mail to the events team.

Elaine Bivins  (collection ‘tins’ at venues) –  enquiries@lrbloodbikes.org.uk
As well as organising our events Elaine also looks after our yellow collection “tins” getting them into coffee shops, retail outlets, pubs and the like. Elaine and the team visit locations willing to host a “tin” and make sure the tin is collected when full. If you are interested in having a collecting tin on our behalf at your venue please drop us an email and Elaine will get in touch with you

Ges Martin (Milk Bank team) –  milkteam@lrbloodbikes.org.uk
Ges leads our work with the Birmingham Women’s Hospital and supports the collection and delivery of donated breast milk.  If you have any queries about this part of our work drop Ges an email.


14th December 2018

DRIVE Vauxhall ending their support to the group 

I attended a recent meeting with the manager at DRIVE Vauxhall to chat about the year gone by and to see what their plans are for the coming year.

Owing to a change of management and increased pressure on their finances,  DRIVE Vauxhall will not be continuing their charitable support of our group after the end of January 2019
.
This will mean the loss of the Kawasaki Versys and the newer of the Combo vans in our fleet. (the older van is owned by the group)

It is a shame for the group but not a disaster. I believe we can function with our three remaining motorcycles without too much difficulty. However, having 2 vans has proved extremely useful during poor weather and now we have a few people regularly using the vans for shifts it is a common occurrence for both vans to be in action on some shifts or when we have an event taking place.

Jonathan (our operations manager) and I have shared some initial thoughts  and he is going to make some operational plans as to options going forward. More in the near future. If you have any thoughts on this topic please email them to Jonathan  at   operations@lrbloodbikes.org.uk

I have asked the manager at DRIVE if they would be interested in making the bike available for any of our group members to buy as I know the bike has been popular with some of our riders. I am awaiting his response.

I think two vans has become almost a necessity for our group and so we are looking at options to obtain a 2nd vehicle in place of the combo van, possibly even buying the van currently on loan to us from DRIVE. This is not agreed but an idea to work on.

We’ll  let you know more in the coming weeks as plans develop.
Ollie
(Group Chairman)


30th October 2018

CHANCELLOR’S BUDGET AND BLOOD BIKE VEHICLES

Hello all group members,

If you “deep dive” the details of the Chancellor’s budget statement you’ll find some excellent news for Blood Bike Groups in the UK.

The National Association of Blood Bikes (NABB) have been in discussion with government agencies for some time to promote a zero-rate vehicle excise duty on Blood Bike specific / dedicated vehicles.

The Chancellor has announced in his budget that form 2020 dedicated Blood Bike vehicles will have a zero rate of road fund tax on dedicated group vehicLes. Great news.

It is a further recognition by the UK government of the validity of the national Blood Bike movement.

NABB have issued a fuller statement and you can find a copy of this at the link below

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B2R9_6IBNj9ya0xxSFFJNllGenc?usp=sharing

We will, of course, need to look at the details how this works from an operational viewpoint, how we demonstrate what vehicles are “blood bike dedicated” and the like, but we have over a year to be looking at this and, for sure, NABB will be sharing with all 30+ Blood Bike groups the practicalities.

All in all, great to be part of a Blood Bike community that our government recognise to a level that will allow future zero rate vehicle excise duty on group vehicles.

Thanks all, keep it safe out there
Ollie Cufflin (Group Chairman)


Date 18th September 2018

LEICESTERSHIRE & RUTLAND BLOODBIKES – RICHARD COLLYER STANDING DOWN AS GROUP OPERATIONS MANAGER

Hello all group members

After several years looking after various day to day aspects of the group as “Operations Manager”, Richard Collyer has decided that it is time to stand down from an active group committee role.

Richard recently got married, recently bought a house that is in need of a lot of work and his work is now taking him away from home much more frequently. So, it is totally understandable he does not have the time to commit to our operations activities that he has had over last few years

Richard will still support the group as a member and with a focus to make sure we have IT related things fully working. We have a solid system that we will continue try and fine tune and develop.

We have the Annual General Meeting coming up soon (note the date will be pushed back into October and will be confirmed in the near future) and I hope we will be able to find someone with the time and commitment to take on the role of Operations Manager for Richard to hand over to. I’ll send out details of all the committee roles and what is involved for each of them for your consideration as to whether you feel able to step into a committee role and help the running and organisation of our charity.

Richard has been a huge solid contributor to the ‘back office’ activities (many of them unseen) of the group and on behalf of all of us I’d like to thank him for all he has done as a committee member. Richard plans to be at the AGM and so we can also extend personal thanks at that meeting.

Thanks all

Ollie Cufflin
Group Chairman


 


Date August 31st 2018

LEICESTERSHIRE & RUTLAND BLOOD BIKES – REVIEW AND UPDATE AUGUST 2018

Here is an overview of our Blood Bike group activities, what is happening and what is coming up. Grab a cup of coffee (or whatever) and have a read through all the current bits and pieces.
I hope this helps keep group members up to date if they have not been able to get to a recent supporters meeting or keep track all the posts and emails snippets that come round

  1. FLEET NEWS (a) Ongoing thanks to DRIVE Vauxhall for sponsoring the group in 2018. We have a 67 plate Combo van now in the fleet courtesy of DRIVE and the Kawasaki Versys bike remains in the fleet as in 2017. As of now the Versys is having new chain and sprockets fitted having covered round about 17,000 miles (b) The older Combo van we purchased from DRIVE Vauxhall has had a livery refresh; it was getting a little tired and dog eared. Having the two vans has enabled us to get some non-bike rider members to be able to book some delivery shifts even if we are using a van to move event equipment around at events. (c) BMW index VX57 was written off earlier in the year after a spill on a roundabout. We are thankful the rider suffered no serious or lasting injuries (d) The BMW 1200 donated by the Family of Martyn Turner has now been in regular use in the group for several months. It’ss be having some new tyres in the very near future (e) The Yamaha FJR 1300 remains a solid and reliable workhorse (f) At the time of writing this update we are picking up and making final preparations to use a new BMW F800GT in the fleet. This has been generously funded by the Mark Master Masons group. This is a “mid weight” bike which we think will be very user friendly for those riders who find the Yamaha and BMW heavy and the Versys quite tall.
  2. Booking rider / driver shifts – we are needing to send out 2 or more times every week a plea to our riders / drivers to fill in rota gaps that are empty in the coming 2 weeks. We are living ‘hand to mouth’ and there is a concern that when we send out the plea riders / drivers will not even open the mail as they are “bored” by the continual sending out of the pleas. Keep trying to check your diaries and be as proactive as possible to keep us on the road as a group
  3. VEHICLE STORAGE LOCATIONS We have three main locations:- (i) The ambulance station, Goodwood Road  (ii) Central fire station and (iii) Birstall Fire Station We are looking at options to have a vehicle based in the Hinckley area but as we have found with other locations, when dealing with facility management systems the wheels of progress work slowly. With the existing garaging locations we are operating a rotation policy and from time to time moving the vehicles between the venues so all drivers / riders get an equal share of riding a bike of their preference from a location nearest to them. A reminder to all drivers / riders – please do NOT write down location access codes or key box codes in a format that can be recognised by someone if you lose the information. Use some format or naming that you will understand but a stranger will not if they find or come across the details you have written down
  4. Van driver competence assessment – We are reviewing and finalising an updated group policy on formal driver competence assessment for van drivers. We had been working under group policy that people having passed an advanced bike rider assessment and with a full driving license were deemed to be competent to use the group vans. Our insurance policy does not demand any more than drivers have a full car driving license. However, we believe it a positive step forward to look at a short, formal assessment and driver coaching session for all those wanting to drive group vans. We expect there will be a nominal cost to this which we would request drivers to pay, in the same way that group riders fund their own advanced rider training / assessments. More details in the near future
  5. AIR AMBULANCE (a) The Monday / Weds / Friday / Sunday, fixed time runs in the evenings between Walsgrave Hospital and East Midlands Airport continue. We have had a few occasions where blood has not been available from Walsgrave and this has been frustrating when for one reason or another we had not received notification of this. We are looking at ways to double check blood availability before a rider / driver goes to Walsgrave to avoid any wasted journeys. (b) We still plan to set up a group “PR” photo with our vehicles and the air ambulance. Group members can come along and we can get (I hope) a big group photo. (c) The team at the air ambulance station at East Midlands are very appreciative, some of you will have met them if you’ve done the shift
  6. EVENTS (a) Elaine Bivins continues to plan and organise our fund raising events and presentations. Please go to this link to see our group “12 month look ahead” showing all planned activities. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/1/d/1VkBcaY6b4OBNnym6pzWhwm6Htb-Ws86n6rH01mdlXUY/edit?usp=drive_web&ouid=118109883331904780043 (b) It continues to be an uphill struggle to get group members to help out at the planned events. We expect all members to actively support activities. We do not “babysit” members but rely on the proactive attitude of members to check the plans and chat to Elaine to get a date that works for them. Please help Elaine as it is tiresome, event after event, to keep asking for helpers. Take a look at the events ahead and contact Elaine via events@lrbloodbikes.org.uk
  7. MEDIA (a) Jonathan Bostock continues to push to our facebook information flow. Thanks to him for the work (b) If you have pictures or stories to share please contact him so he can use them in sharing in our media channels Jonathan is at  media@lrbloodbikes.org.uk
  8. HOSPITALS (a) ongoing out of hours cover continues. Thanks to all our riders / drivers for stepping up to take the shifts (b) we continue to talking with the outlying hospitals for possible one daytime per week to offer blood sample movement from outlying hospitals to LRI. Details are not yet finalised and we expect to meet the hospitals management team late in August to make next decisions. We have a concern that even though we have a large rider / driver base, the ongoing last minute chasing to fill regular shifts will only be made worse by taking on this additional workload. So, we’ll make sure we give this suitable recognition in any decision. It is great to have a large membership, but we need to be realistic that all members are not able to book any rider / driver shifts for one reason or another. It is fully recognised that life can bring challenges that mean booking shifts is difficult from time to time – this is the reality of a volunteer group, and we need to be realistic when considering taking on this daytime ‘once per week’ workload.
  9. RIDING / ADHERANCE TO ROAD REGUALTIONS A brief reminder to all that group policy requires our drivers / riders to act in accordance with road rules and regulations. We conduct random checks on vehicle tracker records and where necessary we alert riders / drivers where it is evident that vehicle speeds are in excess of known speed limits. We are NOT an emergency service and we do not use blue lights on the public roads. We do not have any need to break speed limits or any other road regulations and hospital staff have no authority to request that any rider / driver acts outside the requirements of normal road regulations. We’ll continue to have a ‘quiet word’ where needed with any of the team as needed
  10. GROUP AGM We have our AGM planned for September 26th 2018. Main business will be a review of 2017 group actions and accounts and the election or affirmation of the group committee for the coming year. All members will receive details of the committee positions open to all. If we get only one person standing for any role then they will take up that position without the need for a vote. Where we get more than one person offering to take a role then members present at the AGM will vote by show of hands as to who will be elected to take the role for the coming year.
  11. NEW MEMBERS Paul Johnson and Aimee Hurst continue to ‘process’ our new members, so if you have any queries or names of interested people you can contact them via   supporters@lrbloodbikes.org.uk We have a number of dormant member and we are working through those to check if they are still interested and where not they are removed from the members list.

Hope that helps give an overview of the group activities generally, let me know if any specific questions and look out for the invitations to the group AGM on 26th September

Ollie Cufflin (Group Chairman)


LRBB NEWS ALERT – PICK UP NEW BMW F800 FROM PIDCOCK

15th August 2018

Hello all LRBB members,

We will be doing a “pick up” of the new BMW F800GT from Pidcock BMW Long Eaton on Thursday 16th August at around 9.00am. Any group members interested in coming over for the occasion please make your own way there. Group Hi Viz can be worn for the occasion.

It will not be much more than a key handover and a few photos but we’re sure there’ll be a coffee and a chance to look at the range of BMWs over there!.

Colin Brink is going to ride the F800 back to Leicester and then take if on Friday 17th August to the official Mark Master Masons UK wide celebration of their funded bikes at the event hosted by the Mark Master Masons.

The bike will then be stabled at Coleman Road Ambulance Station ready for sat nav, tracker and rack fitting before going into use in the fleet in the near future

Maybe see some of your there in Long Eaton.

Regards

Richard Collyer, Operations Manager  (operations@lrbloodbikes.org.uk)

Andy Bryant, Fleet Manager  (fleet@lrbloodbikes.org.uk)

** a copy of this and all group wide emails from the last couple of months can be found on the members area of the LRBB web site


LRBB NEWS ALERT – NEW BMW F800 FUNDED BY MARK MASTER MASONS

14th August 2018

Hello all LRBB members   Great news for the group, the BMW F800GT motorcycle, funded by the Mark Master Masons group, is ready for a formal “pick up” from Pidcock BMW in Long Eaton. We’ll confirm the pick up day asap and all those who are free will be welcome to come over to Pidcock to join the little PR ‘splash’ we’ll make of it.

The Mark Master Masons group has funded vehicles across a number of Blood Bike groups and we are fortunate to be able to benefit from the support with the purchase costs of this bike from them.

The BMW F800 bike still needs to have tracker, sat nav and rack fitted but will be in use in our fleet in the very near future. It will be rotated over time between the garaging locations as are the other bikes.

It is an excellent addition to the fleet as the F800 bike is a little lighter in weight and has a slightly lower seat height than the other motorcycles. It will mean a very useful alternative for those in the group, or thinking of joining the group, who find the existing motorbikes a little heavy or tall at times. The F800 is a tried and tested ‘work horse’ and used widely amongst blood bike groups.

We are extremely grateful to the Mark Master Mason’s group for their funding and we will be taking the bike along to their publicity event taking place in the near future when our bike, along with others funded for other blood bike groups, will be unveiled “en masse” in a PR event.

We will set up necessary paperwork and check lists for this bike along with organising some familiarisation sessions to the bike itself for those who might be riding the bike.

The additional of this 4th bike to our fleet is tremendous but it also brings the additional burden to our costs and so a reminder to all group members to please support the events we go to where we gather much of the needed funding to operate our fleet. All future events can be seen on the members area of the group web site.

Our motorcycle fleet now looks like this
Yamaha FJR1300 (group owned)
BMW 1200R (group owned)
BMW F800 (group owned, purchase costs funded by Mark Master Masons)
Kawasaki Versys 1000 (loaned and serviced free of charge by DRIVE Vauxhall group)

For further information about the Mark Master Masons group here is a wikipedia link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_Mark_Master_Masons from where you can also follow various web links to see the work this part of masonic organisation

Regards
Richard Collyer, Operations Manager  (operations@lrbloodbikes.org.uk)
Andy Bryant, Fleet Manager  (fleet@lrbloodbikes.org.uk)


LRBB Rider/Driver Rota – gaps in rota over next 2 weeks as at 13th August

Monday 13th August 2018

Hello LRBB Riders / Drivers,

This mail is being sent to all the people on our current active rider / driver list.

We have the following gaps in our rider / driver rota over the next 2 weeks
Can you help?

Tue 14 Aug 2018 Night  VERY URGENT
Fri 17 Aug 2018 Early Eve
Sat 18 Aug 2018 Night
Sun 19 Aug 2018 Day
Sun 19 Aug 2018 Night
Mon 20 Aug 2018 Night
Tue 21 Aug 2018 Night
Wed 22 Aug 2018 Night
Fri 24 Aug 2018 Night
Fri 24 Aug 2018 Early Eve Air Amb run
Sat 25 Aug 2018 Night
Sun 26 Aug 2018 Day
Sun 26 Aug 2018 Night
Sun 26 Aug 2018 Early Eve Air Amb run
Mon 27 Aug 2018 Night

If you can help please log into the members area of the web site and do a “self booking” if you can.  Also look ahead at future dates and if possible volunteer for any of the empty slots

Go the web site   www.lrbloodbikes.org.uk and go to the members tab,  login password is   LRBBmoto52
Open the sheet “LRBB Available Shifts”.  You can self-book empty shifts.

The rota updates online every 5 minutes, if no-one else booked your date in the 5 minutes before you then you’ll get a text message confirming successful booking. If someone got in there a few minutes before you then you’ll get a text confirming the shift is already booked

Thanks all,
Richard Collyer (Group Operations Manager) Email operations@lrbloodbikes.org.uk


Rider / Driver Rota – Urgent Shout Out for Rider / Driver Tomorrow (Sunday)

Sat 11th August 2018

Hello LRBB Riders / Drivers,

This mail is being sent to all the people on our current active rider / driver list.

This is an urgent shout out for a rider /driver for tomorrow’s (Sunday) daytime shift and also the Sunday evening Air Ambulance returns from East Midlands to Walsgrave Hospital
Can you help?

If you can help please log into the members area of the web site and do a “self booking” if you can.  Also look ahead at future dates and if possible volunteer for any of the empty slots

Go the web site   www.lrbloodbikes.org.uk and go to the members tab,  login password is   LRBBmoto52 Open the sheet “LRBB Available Shifts”.  You can self-book empty shifts.

The rota updates online every 5 minutes, if no-one else booked your date in the 5 minutes before you then you’ll get a text message confirming successful booking. If someone got in there a few minutes before you then you’ll get a text confirming the shift is already booked

Thanks all,
Richard Collyer (Group Operations Manager) Email operations@lrbloodbikes.org.uk


12 GAPS IN ROTA OVER NEXT 2 WEEKS

Sat 11th August 2018

Hello LRBB Riders / Drivers,

This mail is being sent to all the people on our current active rider / driver list.

We have the following gaps in our rider / driver rota over the next 2 weeks
Can you help?

Sun 12 Aug 2018 Day   URGENT NEED
Sun 12 Aug 2018 Early Eve   Air Amb run
Tue 14 Aug 2018 Night
Fri 17 Aug 2018 Night
Fri 17 Aug 2018 Early Eve Air Amb run
Sat 18 Aug 2018 Night
Sun 19 Aug 2018 Day
Sun 19 Aug 2018 Night
Mon 20 Aug 2018 Night
Tue 21 Aug 2018 Night
Wed 22 Aug 2018 Night
Fri 24 Aug 2018 Night
Fri 24 Aug 2018 Early Eve Air Amb run

If you can help please log into the members area of the web site and do a “self booking” if you can.  Also look ahead at future dates and if possible volunteer for any of the empty slots

Go the web site   www.lrbloodbikes.org.uk and go to the members tab,  login password is   LRBBmoto52

Open the sheet “LRBB Available Shifts”.  You can self-book empty shifts.

The rota updates online every 5 minutes, if no-one else booked your date in the 5 minutes before you then you’ll get a text message confirming successful booking. If someone got in there a few minutes before you then you’ll get a text confirming the shift is already booked

Thanks all,

Richard Collyer (Group Operations Manager)
Email operations@lrbloodbikes.org.uk


GROUP SOCIAL NIGHT

10th August 2018

Hello LRBB members,

Quick reminder, tonight is our next group informal social night at “The Gate Hangs Well”, Syston.

Also, remember all our group dates and events are shown in our “12 month look ahead” calendar on the members area of the group web site plus we post public events also on Facebook

The social night is totally optional and totally informal. Bring any friends or family if you would like to.

Meet anytime from around 7pm until you need to head home

thanks
Ollie Cufflin
(Group Chairman)


SMOKING IN GROUP VEHICLES

30th July 2018

Hello all LRBB members

A friendly reminder to all group members about smoking in group vehicles.

Smoking in vehicles used by multiple persons or which are classed as company/work vehicles is against the law and carries an on the spot penalty of £50 which can be increased by the courts to £200 (For more details check various web pages using any web search engine)

It has been illegal for a number of years and as a group we do not put ‘no smoking’ stickers in the vans as it is assumed drivers are aware of the legal implications. However one of the vans has just had an inside and outside clean this weekend and there was a quantity of ash and cigarette materials in the van that needed to be cleaned up.

Please be aware as a van driver or potential van driver it is illegal to smoke in the group vans and we remind you of the law and also not least out of consideration to other users.

I fully appreciate the voluntary efforts you ALL put in and naturally some people smoke (as do I) so all I ask is if you want to take a smoke then have a short ‘smoke break’ and stop in a safe place en-route if you are driving one of the vans

Thanks again for all you efforts and the time you give and I hope no one is offended by this email but I need everyone to be aware of the legalities as we don’t want a volunteer ending up £50 out of pocket for doing great work!

Regards
Andy Bryant, Fleet Manager
Tel: 07522 027709

email   fleet@lrbloodbikes.org.uk


Parking Permits When on Shift

15th July 2018

Hello all LRBB riders and drivers

Our members area of the web site contains a variety of forms and documents that we use to help manage the group rider / driver activities.

You can find these documents under Forms and Procedures in the “Members’ Area”

We have been alerted to an incorrect phone number on the parking permits contained in the Operation Procedures documents “OP18”. This error has now been corrected. Apologies to those who recently had some frustration while trying to use the incorrect number.

Please download the documents and print for yourselves the one page permits for Lancaster Road Fire Station and Goodwood Ambulance Station

Birstall Fire Station uses same parking permit as per Lancaster Road

We try and make sure there are laminated printed permits in the vehicle / bike folders for you to use but, unfortunately, sometimes after use they are not returned to the folder so our advice is to have your own printed (no need to laminate them for your personal use!) and available for when you are parking a motor vehicle.

If you do not use a parking permit displayed in the windscreen of a vehicle then it is possible you will receive a parking “fine” from a third party company OR that the station staff are not sure if the vehicle parked there is for genuine reasons.

Many thanks

Richard Collyer
(Group Operations Manager, operations@lrbloodbikes.org.uk )



Group Calendar and Dates for your Diaries

12th July 2018

Hello all LRBB members

A reminder and some dates for your diaries . . .

Reminder – all of the group events and activities can be found via our group website (www.lrbloodbikes.org.uk) and link on the members area tab. Look for the link “LRBB Events & Support Needed”.
You’ll see all the things coming up and the dates also where we still need help.
Public events are also posted on facebook and main web pages but some of the group “internal” activities are just shown on the members calendar on the web site. So, in the first instance always check the group web site calendar first, this is the central place where we co-ordinate all group activities

Dates for your diaries:

1. We have a group social evening on the 2nd Friday of each month at “The Gate Hangs Well” in Syston from around 7.30pm to 10.30pm. Some get there earlier, no fixed start time . (totally informal evening. There may be a few people there or there could be 10 or more there)
Next social is Friday 13th July

2. We have a supporters meeting taking place on Thursday July 19th at the Blaby Hotel in Blaby. 7.30pm start. All are welcome whether members or new people wanting to find out what we do
We’ll look at current group activities, news about the new bike coming, group finances as well as sharing ideas how to improve any areas of concern or frustrations with any area of our group workings. Please do join if you can

3. We need group members to step up in the middle of the busyness of life and be willing to help at some events in the coming months. Please take a look and see what you might be able to help with.

If we share the work then the load is light, but when left to a small group the load is tough. Thanks if you can look at the calendar of events and consider if you can support one of the future dates.

Thanks all, hope to see you in the near future
Ollie Cufflin
(Group Chairman)