Becoming a SERV Volunteer Rider

We welcome riders (and drivers) that would like to help SERV to carry out our support of the NHS. There are a number of steps that we ask a rider to go through, these are requirements that are required by a mixture of us and the NHS. Below is a sample of the standard steps required from first contact to going on roster as a Bloodrunner.

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 every first Thursday of the month at a pub called "The Nevill" in Hove. Normally about 30 or so members will meet up and so this offers you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

Paperwork, Photos and more..

In order to become a member of SERV there is a basic membership form asking for contact details and information on machine that may be used for blood running. At this time we also ask for 2 photos in order to create your identification card, this is to be taken on every ride as may be needed to gain access to the necessary hospital. Each rider also gets a SERV high visibility jacket but we do ask for a donation of £30 towards the jacket. This jacket also includes a space on the exterior for your id card so you will not lose it.

Orientation Rides

Generally we split Sussex into 2 halves (East Sussex and West Sussex) and have a roster that covers each side of the county each evening. We therefore have 2 orientation rides where we visit each of the hospitals in the area to be covered as well as the meeting point where we meet Surrey riders if they are providing the blood from the blood bank. If you are centrally located in Sussex then you are welcome to complete both rides if you would like to help cover both West Sussex and East Sussex.

When on roster and completing a run to a hospital there are set routes that you should follow, this is to ensure the route is safe, but also so that if you were to suffer a mechanical problem a replacement rider will be able to locate you easily.

These rides are typically on a Sunday morning and will always be led by a current SERV rider and is approxiamtely 3-4 hours in total. On the ride we will cover each of the hospitals in each area as well as the meeting point point at the top of the M23, when visiting the meeting point we will also stop for an hour or so at a Costa Coffee to talk through in a smaller group any questions you have come up with and also collect in the paperwork, photos etc that we ask you to bring along.

At each hospital on the ride we will let you know where the blood needs to be taken to, typically it is the pathology lab but in some hospitals it is the A&E department (remember the main hospital areas are closed at night).

Motorcycle Rider Test

More recently the NHS has asked that every rider have their riding checked by a neutral DSA trainer to ensure all riders are safe. We are luck at Serv Sussex as we have a local motorcycle training centre with DSA approved intructors who volunteer their time to approve our riders. Local firms are 1066 motorcycle training in Bexhill On Sea and Bike Smart motorcycle training in Haywards Heath and the test is similar to the current motorcycle test and includes a theory part also (yes, you should get the highway code out and re read it). The time 1066 is in an informal structure and will include some slow speed control as well as a road ride to ensure that you are fundamentally a safe rider.

Riding a SERV Bike

SERV Sussex currently has 6 bikes that are marked up as Blood bikes and can be used by volunteers once they have completed a years service. The insurance on these bikes is also kindly donated to us and one of the rules is that all riders must be at least 30 years old, riders under this age can still be a rider volunteer on their own bike. Also, if wanting to ride a SERV bike then you will need to complete the Rider Test on a SERV bike to show you are a competant rider on a larger machine.

The bikes are typically rotated on a weekly basis, this allows the holder of the bike to use the bike on their roster night. Also, if you are in possesion of the SERV bike and calls come in and all roster riders are already out then you will be the next person asked.

The SERV bikes are also used for diplay at events to show people at the show and help us to raise donations and so you may be asked to take the bike to an event. As the bikes are also used for the bike rider assesment a new SERV volunteer may need to come and collect the bike for their ride and then return it to you once completed.

NHS Test

The final thing that needs to be completed before going on to roster is a very simple multiple choice test on what to do with the items you are transporting. This test is simply to make sure you have read the information that comes with it about the basics of transporting the products.

Apply Online

Well done for making it down this far on the page, you must really be interested in becoming a SERV rider and helping to save lives and so we would like to hear from you. If you would indeed like to join SERV as a rider then please go to the Apply Online page and send us your details.