In addition, we will be receiving a citation for all the work we have done during the Covid pandemic in transporting covid samples for testing.
A huge thank you goes out to all our volunteers, past and present. Your commitment and dedication have earned us this award. Our thanks must also go to all our supporters, the many businesses and charitable organisations who have and continue to support the work we do.
Thank you, everyone.
From our humble beginnings in a Scout hut in Horsford 10 years ago to the current countywide service transporting blood, blood products, and donated breast milk between the acute NHS hospitals in Norfolk, we provide a lifeline service. Carried out 100% by unpaid volunteers we provide a free of charge, out of hours, rapid response service to the NHS, Air Ambulance, and donated breast milk banks every night of the year, weekends, and Bank Holidays.
When the Coronavirus pandemic struck and the country went into lockdown like all charities we were affected in the same way. All fundraising and events stopped. Some of our volunteers stayed at home shielding. Local community hospitals were struggling to get their Covid samples to the microbiology lab for testing. So, as we were already transporting Covid samples from the 3 main NHS Hospitals to microbiology, we agreed to help. The number of hospitals we were supporting suddenly increased from 3 to 9 and we found that over the year our task rate had risen by 75%.
The commitment and dedication of our volunteers has never faltered. Neither Covid nor the “Beast from the East” Arctic weather could stop us. We have never refused any call, ever! We lived up to our motto “We’ll go no matter what”.
As one of 241 charities, social enterprises, and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year we could not be more proud. The number of nominations remains high year on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.
Sean Moore, our Chairman said, “I couldn’t hold back my delight when I found out we were to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. I felt so proud and honoured that our volunteers’ work and dedication, not only during normal times but for our Covid Testing assistance during the pandemic, has been recognised with the Queen’s Award which is the highest accolade and the equivalent of the MBE for voluntary service.”
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse. They include volunteer groups from across the UK, including an inclusive tennis club in Lincolnshire; a children’s bereavement charity in London; a support group those living with dementia and their carers in North Yorkshire; a volunteer minibus service in Cumbria; a group supporting young people in Belfast; a community radio station in Inverness and a mountain rescue team in Powys.
Representatives of Norfolk Blood Bikes will receive the award crystal and certificate from Lady Dannatt MBE, Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk later this summer. Furthermore, two volunteers from Norfolk Blood Bikes will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2022 (depending on restrictions at the time), along with other recipients of this year’s Award.