LOOKING for a new challenge for the new year?

A charity which provides the NHS with a vital out-of-hours transport service is on a recruitment drive for Pembrokeshire volunteers.

Blood Bikes Wales comprises an enthusiastic group of volunteers who help transport blood supplies, plasma, breast milk, documents and other items between hospitals.

The NHS uses its own transportation system to move supplies Monday to Friday. But between 7pm and 7am on weekdays, and during weekends and bank holidays, the police, ambulance service, taxis and couriers were relied on to carry supplies.

Blood Bikes Wales estimates that for each pound it receives, the NHS will save at least £5.

Most volunteers are bikers and aim to use their skills, time and enthusiasm to help NHS Wales.

Charity chairman Andy Walters said: “We’ve been working with Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board for the past nine months and recently completed our 200th delivery.

“This will have meant about £2,000 savings so far, and we are set to get busier and busier as more and more departments hear about us.”

The charity is still in talks with Hywel Dda Health Board and is looking for volunteers across Pembrokeshire.

“There are about five riders in Pembrokeshire at the moment – certainly not enough to hold a service,” Andy added.

“We’re looking for riders, fundraisers - anybody who’s interested can get involved some way or another.”

With plans to sign up two other health boards in the pipeline, everything is really coming together for Blood Bikes Wales, which costs about £90,000 a year to keep in service in south Wales.

For more information on getting involved email nhsliaison@bloodbikeswales.org.uk or go to www.bloodbikeswales.org.uk.