Meet the army of bikers who help those in need through the night

Nuffield Health Gym in Wakefield has raised money for the Whiteknights emergency voluntary service - a team of volunteer motorcyclists who transport blood around West Yorkshire.'Colin Rispin, Martyn Craggs, Neil Grimshaw and Rob Gibson

Nuffield Health Gym in Wakefield has raised money for the Whiteknights emergency voluntary service - a team of volunteer motorcyclists who transport blood around West Yorkshire.'Colin Rispin, Martyn Craggs, Neil Grimshaw and Rob Gibson

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Meet the unsung heroes of the night.

While most of us are in bed asleep at night, a group of committed volunteer motorcyclists could be called out to transport vital medical supplies hundreds of miles across Yorkshire.

The Whiteknights Emergency Voluntary Service is made up of a team of around 60 bikers who are on call from 7pm until 7am Monday to Friday and 24 hours a day at weekends and bank holidays.

They use a fleet of seven motorcycles to transport supplies between hospitals, hospices and other medical centres across West, North and South Yorkshire.

Colin Rispin, vice chairman of the group, said: “When one of the volunteers is on call they can literally get a call in the middle of night from a hospital who needs to send or receive something urgently.

“Sometimes waiting until the next morning is simply not an option and that’s where we come in. We can get a call in the early hours of the morning from a hospital saying they need some supplies sending 200 miles and we will just go and do it without thinking.

“We would never presume we have saved somebody’s life, we just like to think we have made somebody’s situation a little better. It is very rewarding knowing you have made a difference to someone in their time of need.”

The group founded in 2008 and relies entirely on charitable donations to fund its work. Last year, the riders made more than 2,000 emergency runs between hospitals and other medical care providers at a cost of around £30,000.

A sponsored spinathon held at Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Gym in Wakefield helped raise £585 for the Whiteknights.

Mr Rispin, 57, from Ossett, said: “The money from Nuffield Health was very gratefully received by us and we can’t thank them and everyone took part enough.

“We get no money from the government or anywhere else. We have to raise it all ourselves. It’ll probably costs us around £35,000 to £40,000 to run the service across the county this year.”

The charity is made up of skilled motorcyclists who all have advanced qualifications with the Institute of Advanced Motorists or The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

Mr Rispin works as a full-time HGV driver and fits in his voluntary work around it.

He said: “The way that I look at is if you had a family member who went into the hospital in the middle of the night and they needed some urgent supplies, you wouldn’t want to be waiting until the morning.

“It can be very difficult juggling everything around work, especially given my job because I have to make sure I have a day off when I’m driving.”