#BloodBikeDay - Steven Hughes | Driver

Tell us about your day job
As well as volunteering for charity, I am mad enough to work for one! I work for a disability charity called Gateshead Access Panel, and my main role is supporting people in receipt of Direct Payments for their care needs with Payroll and HR advice and support.

Tell us a little about you
I’m a recently turned 30 year old who’s not a biker! I am an observer and committee member for the North East Central group of Advanced Motorists which I love.  I am a tropical fish keeper and aquarium enthusiast in my spare time.  I also love Minis (as my long suffering partner will tell you), and I am well into cruises and holidays as my favourite things in life.

When and why did you become involved with the Blood Bikes?
I became involved with Blood Bikes in February 2015, when Owain and Graham did a talk to NECAM (North East Central Advanced Motorists) to appeal for advanced drivers. I decided then to put my interest in driving to good use, as I was amazed about what they did and what they stood for, with it being completely voluntary and saving the public purse a lot of money. Also it was my chance to drive a nice Skoda Yeti…

Is it difficult to juggle your day job / family / hobbies with volunteering?
I tend to choose shifts that coincide when my diary is empty, as in order to limit the impact on my home and work life. I take view as being a volunteer, any time I can give is useful, and although I would love to give more time, my 9-5 limits any weeknight shifts. That being said, there have been a couple of mornings after where I have been on strong black coffee!
That’s one of the reasons I became a shift controller as well, which means I can give more time to the group without disrupting too much of my home life as it was home based.

What’s the best thing about joining the Blood Bikes?
The best thing about the Blood Bikes is that it is the one volunteering job that has brought me total satisfaction and reward for what time and effort I input, as I know I have indirectly helped people’s recovery back to health.

Tell us about the training you received
For all the potential members worried that they will be thrown into the “deep end”, don’t be! I received a full driving assessment and induction session from the group, and unlike some inductions, it was hands on so we could see from the outset the work the group do. This was backed up with comprehensive training materials and procedures on the website.  Even if I have any questions now, I know I can rely on the committee for fast and reliable answers.

What advice would you give to a budding Blood Biker?
My advice to anyone joining is to remember to enjoy it, and take your time! By helping out, you are already contributing to our services, and it’s a great chance to enjoy your riding and driving skills in a way that benefits the community.

If you could tell someone one thing about the Blood Bikers, what would it be?
The one thing I would say is that we are completely volunteer led and run, which is a big tribute to the dedication of the volunteers that we have, which individually and collectively are a fantastic bunch!

Could you be a volunteer Shift Controller?  https://do-it.org/opportunities/f0d43d5e-7997-40e9-bf04-e9797f097fa5