Fantastic fundraisers keep Devon Freewheelers on the road through Covid-19 pandemic thanks to 'talent and generosity'

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Fantastic fundraisers refusing to be thwarted by the Covid-19 pandemic have pulled out all the stops to come up with creative ways to keep the Devon Freewheelers Blood Bikes on the road.

Multiple UK-wide lockdowns since March 2020 resulted in the cancellation of scores of fundraising events and challenges organised by loyal supporters of the Devon Freewheelers.

Crafting, Zoom talks, bake and book sales, plus generous donations, have helped raise hundreds of pounds for the Devon Blood Bikes service in recent months.

Russell Roe, Devon Freewheelers Deputy CEO, said the charity was so thankful for the support of the communities across the county.

He said the vital Devon Blood Bikes service could not survive without the support of its fundraisers and volunteers.

Mr Roe said: “So much imagination, talent and generosity has gone into fundraising for the Devon Freewheelers over the last eighteen months.

“The charity is so grateful to the hidden heroes, as we call them – the people going the extra mile to ensure the Devon Blood Bikes can keep on supporting our NHS, for free.

“Every day we feel incredibly grateful - and proud - when someone chooses to fundraise or volunteer for the Devon Freewheelers.

“Every penny raised makes a huge difference in the communities we serve.

“Fundraising has proved extremely hard throughout the pandemic, and we are indebted to each and every supporter who has chosen to donate or raise money for the Devon Freewheelers.

“It’s all thanks to them that the wheels of the Devon Blood Bikes keep turning.”

Plymstock and District U3A members presented ‘very worthwhile Devon based-charity’ Devon Freewheelers with £925 during the spring lockdown, with funds raised through the sales of books, recycled jigsaws, homemade bread, individual donations and a contribution from history talks held over Zoom.

A spokesperson for Plymstock & District U3A said: “The Crafts and Textiles Group wanted to raise some more money for Devon Freewheelers and so they inspired all of us with creating the Book Hubs, where members generously donated unwanted books.

“Many volunteers listed all the books and subsequently made the list available to our members so that they could, socially distanced, sell and deliver the books.

“Members also made a donation without wanting any books too. Unwanted jigsaws were also recycled, bread was made and sold.”

A further contribution was added to the donation by Plymstock and District U3A thanks to history talks held over Zoom.

Tiverton Spiritual and Healing Group was thanked by Devon Freewheelers for raising £500 for the charity, when members collected donations during lockdown.

Crediton and District Lions Club donated £100 to Devon Freewheelers ‘in appreciation for all the valuable work you are doing in the community’.

Homemade knitted Easter chicks raised £100 for the charity thanks to crafter Valerie Payne, from Tiverton, who sold them after they went on display in florist RoseTime Flowers, also in the town.

Valerie said her donation to Devon Freewheelers was because ‘we all appreciate so much the vital work that you continue to do’.

And Exeter Airport presented the Devon Freewheelers with more than £2,000.

The airport chose Devon Freewheelers as its charity of the year thanks to a nomination made by an employee.

  • Photos: Wendy Whiteman from Plymstock & District U3A presented a cheque for £925 to the Devon Freewheelers.
  • Tiverton Spiritual and Healing Group was thanked by Devon Freewheelers for raising £500 for the charity.


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