28 Jan tEiP chairman helping out
Hats off to Steve Moir, chairman of the Experts in Property South West network, who is helping out in his community with not one, but two extremely valuable causes.
This month has been a momentous one for Steve, having taken on two new volunteering roles – one with Cornwall Blood Bikes, and the other at his local NHS COVID-19 vaccination centre.
Steve has ridden motorcycles for several years and has been interested in becoming a Cornwall Blood Biker for a while. Over the last year, he has undertaken the advanced motorcycling course and test, then was able – between lockdowns – to attend an induction and join the organisation.
Established in 2012, Cornwall Blood Bikes is a registered, self-funded charity providing a free delivery service to Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust outside the normal operating hours of regular NHS transport services. With 15 police-spec motorcycles and a team of volunteers on call from 5pm to 7am on weekdays and 24 hours a day over weekends and bank holidays, the service provides urgent transportation of blood, drugs, samples, specimens and other medical requirements between NHS hospitals and hospices, clinics and laboratories for midwives, nurses, doctors and other NHS specialists. The service has recently expanded to include COVID-19 tests.
The volunteers are required to be qualified advanced motorcyclists and to have received bespoke training in relation to sample handling and procedures.
Steve is thoroughly enjoying his role as a Cornwall Blood Biker. He said: “Since I retired as an active estate agent over a year ago, I have wanted to do something to help others, and I enjoy riding motorbikes so volunteering for Cornwall Blood Bikes was a no-brainer for me. The advanced course and the training were extremely worthwhile – even after riding for years, I learned so much. Being entirely self-funded without much opportunity for fundraising lately, it’s a crucial time for all charities and I’m pleased to be able to help.”
Steve’s other new role is as a volunteer at his local NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Centre. Based in the community centre building in Pensilva, East Cornwall, the vaccination centre covers the patients of seven doctors’ surgeries and in the last few weeks has inoculated up to 700 people per day.
Last year, Steve signed up for NHS Volunteer Responders via an app, and helped people shielding or self-isolating by collecting prescriptions and shopping, etc. A few weeks ago, he received an email about the Vaccination Centre and applied to join the team.
Working in shifts, the volunteers work as parking attendants and helping the elderly vaccinees in and out of the centre, in the pre- and post-vaccination areas, and managing the efficient flow of vaccinees while ensuring social distancing guidelines are met.
As a volunteer at the centre, Steve must be tested for the virus every four days. He said: “The vaccination centre is in full flow. The speed in which it was rolled out and the sheer scale of it is phenomenal, and despite the strain they are all under, the NHS vaccination staff are all so cheerful. It’s an impressive and very slick operation. The elderly people arriving for their vaccines come in very nervous, but it’s certainly rewarding to see the smiles on their faces when they leave having had their first vaccine.”
As of Monday 25th January, almost four in five of those over 80 have received a first dose of a COVID vaccine. The Government plans to vaccinate all over 65’s by the end of February.
For more information on Cornwall Blood Bikes, or to make a donation, visit www.cornwallbloodbikes.org.