Volunteers from across Lancaster district recognised during special week of acknowledgement

Local people have been celebrated as part of a week recognising the work of volunteers.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Friday, 4th June 2021, 3:30 pm
Mark Thomson, a volunteer for Northwest Blood Bikes.
Mark Thomson, a volunteer for Northwest Blood Bikes.

As part of Volunteers’ Week, which lasts until June 7, the Bay Health and Care Partners are celebrating volunteers from across Morecambe Bay by sharing their stories.  

Among those is Northwest Blood Bikes, a charity with around 390 members who cover the South Lakes and Lancashire.

Volunteers carry out a wide range of tasks including riding motorcycles to collect and deliver urgently needed whole blood, platelets and samples for analysis between NHS hospitals without charge. 

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Mark Thomson, 54, of Lancaster, has volunteered for Northwest Blood Bikes for two-and-a-half years. He covers urgent deliveries of blood to the NHS locally and nationally when needed and attends fundraising events to highlight the charity to the NHS and raise money to support.

Mark said: “As a keen motorcyclist I saw it as a great opportunity to combine my hobby whilst helping out the NHS. The best bit is the genuine thanks and appreciation you get from the hospital staff and the public, it is very satisfying when a total stranger waves or approaches us to thank us for the service we provide.” 

CancerCare has around 120 volunteers across all its centres in Barrow, Kendal, Lancaster and Morecambe. They carry out a variety of duties and play a vital role in helping the charity support its clients. These include staffing reception desks, helping out at fundraising events and driving clients to and from appointments

Sally-Ann Mayne, 57, of Kendal, has been volunteering for CancerCare for 10 years as a receptionist at the Lakes Centre in Kendal.

Sally said: “I have had cancer three times and even though I didn’t use CancerCare’s service as I wasn’t living in the area at the time, my breast cancer nurse was amazingly kind and always there for me and that is what I wanted to be able to offer to CancerCare.”