We welcome riders (and drivers) that would like to help SERV Sussex deliver the vital service we supply to the NHS. Given the precious cargo we carry it will come as no surprise that there are a number of steps that we require an individual to go through before they can go on roster as a Blood Runner.
Please take some time to review these steps and then complete the application form if you wish to proceed.
PLEASE NOTE: Fleet vehicles are only allocated to individuals over 30 years of age who have actively volunteered for SERV for more than a year and have successfully completed an observed a ride / drive using a fleet vehicle.
1. Come and meet us
The first thing that we ask people to do if they are interested in helping us is to come along and meet us. We meet the first Wednesday of the month at our head office in Worthing. Typically around 20 or so members will meet up (and others join the meeting online) and this gives you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have and chat over a cup of tea or coffee with current volunteers. To check the date of the next meeting consult the diary on our facebook group.
2. Complete the online application form
Having met some of the charity members and learned more about what we do the next step is to complete the online rider application form. It is crucial that we collect all your details on this form and that they are correct as this forms the basis of your membership record. Errors on this form may cause delays in the processing of your application.
With the form complete a number of steps will begin. These do not have to be completed in a specific order, but all must be in place before you can go on roster and become a Blood Runner.
3. Identity Card
You will need to provide a digital photo of yourself (head and shoulders) for the production of an identity card. This identity card is carried in a clear plastic sleeve on SERV's high visibility jackets and will need to be presented to blood bank staff before they will issue blood.
4. SERV Jacket
When volunteering for SERV riders & drivers are required to wear a high visibility jacket. A clear plastic panel on the front left of the jacket allows the individual's identity card to be displayed along with the SERV logo on the right. A large reflective "Blood" panel on the rear and the unique red and yellow design also identifies you as a member of SERV.
Jackets cost £30 and are paid for by the volunteer. They are available for purchase at the monthly meetings.
5. Observed ride / drive
It is crucial that the charity and the NHS have ensured that you are a safe rider / driver. This is accomplised by taking an observed ride / drive using the vehicle you plan to use. Motorcycle riders can have their assessments completed at either Bike Smart Motorcycle Training in Haywards Heath or at 1066 Motorcycle Training at Bexhill-On-Sea.
SERV are indebted to the DSA trainers of these organisations who volunteer their time to approve our riders. The format of the ride is similar to that of the bike test with some slow riding and machine control exercises as well as time on the road. As you already hold a licence the aim of the session is to ensure that you are fundamentally a safe rider and who knows, you may also pick up some useful tips at the same time.
Car drivers are not required to have an observed drive unless (having been an active volunteer for a year) they wish to drive one of the SERV fleet cars or 4x4s.
6. Orientation Ride
Orientation rides are conducted a number by existing members of the charity to familiarise new members with the hospitals we offer a service to and the routes we use. These routes are detailed on the member website and it is important that they are followed as this ensures another member can easily find you in event of a breakdown etc.
At each hospital on the ride we will let you know where the blood needs to be taken. Typically it is the pathology lab but in some hospitals it is the A&E department (remember many of the main hospital departments are closed or have restricted access at night).
Typically an orientation run will cover the hostitals in the East or West of the county as well as the Blood Bank at Tooting and will last 3-4 hours.
You will be asked to complete a document certifying that;
- You hold and will maintain a valid licence for the class of vehicle you plan to use.
- You are insured to volunteer on that vehicle.
- The vehicle has a valid tax disc.
- The vehicle has a valid MOT certificate (if required).
- You will ride / drive responsibly and abide by the Road Traffic Act and Highway Code.
8 Handling Blood / Blood Products exam
The charity has a basic "How To" guide that teaches the new volunteer the do's and don'ts of handling the blood boxes issued by the National Blood Service. It is crucial that these instructions are adhered to so as to avoid and damage to our valuable cargo that would make it unusable. The exam consists of some basic instructions followed by an "open book" multiple choice test.
And that's it!
If the steps above have not phased you and you wish to join SERV as a rider / driver please use the link below to access the application form.