VOLUNTEER motorcyclists who deliver round the clock emergency supplies for hospitals and hospices have received a lifeline.

Merseyside and Cheshire Blood Bikes have been named Merseyrail’s charity of the year for 2018.

Vice chairman and rider Simon Dennett, from Farnworth in Widnes, received a £10,000 donation from the rail operator.

Rider and dad-of-two Simon said: “We’re over the moon, We ended 2017 on a high by completing 6,000 jobs which saved the NHS in the region of £250,000.

“All of our riders and fundraisers are voluntary and give up their time for free so we rely solely on public donations.

“We always struggle for funding. It costs around £30,000 a year to fund our charity so these generous contributions will make a huge impact to the services we provide.”

The charity’s 60 volunteers transport blood, donor breast milk organs and other urgently required medical equipment.

Chemical process worker Simon said: “I got involved because I love motorbikes.I enjoy it a lot, it’s very rewarding.”

Throughout the year, the blood bikers will be invited to hold bucket collections at Merseyrail stations during major sporting and cultural events including The Grand National, the 10th anniversary of Capital of Culture and Liverpool International Music Festival.

Merseyrail staff will also raise funds through sponsored challenges.

Merseyrail managing director Andy Heath said:“If a friend or loved one required an urgent blood transfusion or medical supplies out of hours- most people would assume that there is a service in place that just makes this happen but it’s not that simple.

“Merseyside and Cheshire Blood Bikes make this possible. They help save our local health authorities thousands of pounds each year by carrying essential bloods and medical items between hospitals out of hours so they don’t have to rely on taxis or other paid for transport. .

“It is a truly incredible organisation which makes a real difference and is made possible by generous volunteers who sacrifice their own time and work around the clock to provide this essential support service.”

“We are honoured to have them as our chosen charity for 2018 and will work hard to raise as much money as possible through our fundraising efforts to help such a worthy cause which does so much for the people of Merseyside and Cheshire.”