Network Norwich and Norfolk > People > Priest delivers life-saving blood across Norfolk

Priest delivers life-saving blood across Norfolk

IanByrneBloodBiker450By day Bungay vicar Ian Byrne is a church minister but after hours things hot up as the ‘blood biker’ gets astride a specially adapted motorbike to deliver life-saving blood supplies to hospitals across Norfolk.

 
For, as well as being vicar at Bungay, Barsham and Mettingham in north Suffolk, the 60-year-old also volunteers for the Norfolk Blood Bikers, part of the Service by Emergency Rider Volunteer (SERV) organisation.
 
When called upon, Ian will head to Addenbrookes, the James Paget in Gorleston, the Norfolk and Norwich or the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn – providing vital help for those that require urgent blood deliveries throughout the night.
 
When the service started in 2011, it provided just 29 runs, increasing to 250 in 2012 and 304 this year to date, as Ian explains: “We support the NHS by providing a free courier service,” he says. “Sometimes we meet up with other county SERV groups so that platelets or other blood product can be couriered into London or wherever it is needed. We usually operate between 7pm and 7am which suits me as it does not interfere with parish duties.
 
“We have 52 volunteers and we are all enthusiasts. But it’s about giving something back to the community. The NHS really does need us and that makes it worth doing.”
 
Ian, who owns a Harley Davidson and ex MoD police Honda ST 1100, served in the Army for 30 years before joining the clergy in 2001. In July he was asked by the Lions of Southwold to attend a fundraising event – supported by the town’s Red Lion pub – with one of his group’s five ‘blood bikes’.
 
Recently he was on hand to receive a £1,000 cheque on behalf of Norfolk SERV. ‘The Lions and the pub really have been brilliant,’ he said.

Pictured above, the Revd Ian Byrne receives a cheque for £1,000 from Southwold Lions President, Phil Slater. Picture by www.ripplepr.co.uk


Do you appreciate our service and stories?

The Network Norwich & Norfolk website has been published for over 13 years now and we have an established team of professional journalists covering the activities, organisations and churches which make up the county’s Christian community. Our whole purpose is to support that community by daily providing accurate, unbiased stories and features.

To pay for that service, we rely on our partner organisations, advertisers and readers to, in turn, support us financially. We want to keep the website free for everyone to access and continue to be able to pay for writers to produce the content you can enjoy every day.

We would like to ask you to consider supporting our work and suggest you might want to make a small regular donation of just £1 a week and become one of our 100 Friends, or a larger one-off or annual amount.

Because we are part of a registered charity we can reclaim Gift Aid on your donations if you are a tax-payer.
 


 Recommended reading 
ImpressBloc640
Site Search

 Norfolk services........ 

 Accommodation......... 


Twitter-button  facebookbutton

 

Sign up for our
free e-newsletter


Send us your latest local news and events