Statement from Founder and Chief Executive Daniel Lavery

Submitted on 

Devon Freewheelers, also known as the Devon Blood Bikes, has recently become aware that misinformation is being given to the public as a deliberate attempt to undermine the charity, claiming that we no longer provide a FREE Blood Bike service to the NHS.

We would like to reassure all of our supporters and our volunteers that this is absolute lies.

Devon Freewheelers volunteers pride themselves in the fact that what they do for their local communities is being done for FREE and at no cost to the hospital or the patient they are serving. It has further been commented upon that we are now receiving Government funding for the service we provide.........we can categorically assure everyone that this is also an absolute lie. Devon Freewheelers DO NOT nor have they EVER received any Government funding.

For the purposes of clarity to the members of the public who support us, we do receive a fuel cost recovery for some but not all of our non blood bike work carried out including from GP Surgeries (Non NHS), and for the human organ transport work carried out on behalf of NHS Blood & Transplant which is their standard practice. These services are not to be confused with the Blood Bikes and their operations, which are and ALWAYS will be FREE of charge and operated by our volunteers.

As part of our natural development over the last 10 years, we have got to the point where employment of core staff has become absolutely necessary. This development is NOT funded nor are salaries paid from the public’s donations to the Blood Bike charity. This natural progression in our journey and ambition to support patients and the NHS within Devon and beyond, has afforded the charity to be able to extend its life saving services from out of hours to a full time 24 hours a day, 7 days a week service.

No similar organisation could be expected to possibly achieve this level of service without employing core members of staff. Our staffing level is currently 4 full time and 1 part time position, and we do expect to continue our development and our services to the public, which will ultimately increase the workload, the funding and in turn employed positions. This is wholly acceptable and standard practice for every Charitable Incorporated Organisation in the country today.

As much as we are proud of our development and our services to the public, we will NEVER lose sight of our Blood Bike volunteers and the FREE charitable services that they will always provide to the NHS.

As a final note on the cost recovery work we undertake, all profits that result from any element of cost recovery work undertaken outside of the FREE Blood Bike services, is channelled in to supporting the charity objectives of relieving sickness and suffering.  Devon Freewheelers do not have any shareholders, and its legal structure does not facilitate dividends or bonus payments to members of staff.

These comments that have recently come to our attention are offensive to the pride and dedication of our volunteers, those hidden heroes give to their communities and for that reason I offer my sincere apologies to our volunteers who have had their dedication and support questioned by this misinformation.

I would like to take this opportunity, to offer my sincere thanks and gratitude to all of our volunteers and members of the general public for their continued support given to Devon Freewheelers over the last 10 years, and trust that you will continue to do so for many years to come.

We are aware of the source of the misinformation and we have deliberately not entered into a public debate over their false impressions, or the naming and shaming of the source. Our legal representative will make contact with the organisation concerned, should the spreading of these malicious rumours continue, which will unfortunately bring their identity in to the public domain.

Daniel Lavery
Founder & Chief Executive


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