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The Highland and Islands Blood Bikes (HAIBB) team successfully completed a mammoth ride across Scotland and England

By Imogen James

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Thomas and Mark with the HAIBB crew.
Thomas and Mark with the HAIBB crew.

Commemorating blood bike efforts across the UK to continue transporting vital supplies during the Covid-19 pandemic, Thomas Carroll and Mark Robinson from HAIBB carried a charter with them on their journey.

The Highland Hand of Friendship was signed by blood bike groups across the country.

The pair set off on June 1 from Raigmore Hospital and made their way south, stopping at Penrith before continuing on to Pontefract.

They ended their second day in Milton Keynes where they met Serv Herts and Beds Blood Bike group.

From here, the duo faced a long ride back north, continuing to meet other groups on the way.

A highlight of the trip was when they, as members of the UK’s newest blood bike group, met members of the oldest, the Yeovil Freewheelers EVS, at Haynes Motor Museum in Somerset.

They made it back to Raigmore on June 4 at around 9.20pm.

Thomas (right) with Brian from Blood Bikes Scotland.
Thomas (right) with Brian from Blood Bikes Scotland.

HAIBB chairman Mark McGinty, said: “As the ‘Highland Hand of Friendship’ comes to a close, I want to take this opportunity to say how immensely proud I am of all the team here at HAIBB for making this happen. It has been a remarkable few days.

“It wasn’t just us, of course. I give my thanks and gratitude to all the other Blood Bike volunteers who gave up their time to come and meet us and have their place on the Charter; judging by the comments I have received whilst Mark and Thomas were out and about, this truly was a worthwhile and memorable event for all Blood Bikers. We at HAIBB hope awareness of what we all do has increased. My thanks, of course, to those kind people who donated during the event; these donations are what make it all possible.”

The pair collected £1140.

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