A North Sea oil firm has set the wheels in motion to ensure a group of big-hearted bikers can continue to provide a life-saving service.
The North East Rider Volunteers Scotland (Nervs) is made up of scores of motorcyclists who ferry vital medical equipment, samples and supplies across Grampian and further afield on behalf of the health board.
The group was launched in May last year, and in its first 12 months the group has clocked up more than 25,000 miles – 7,000 more than the equivalent of the distance from Aberdeen to New Zealand – and delivered 400 packages.
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However with the increasing demand, Nervs was in need of a new vehicle and enlisted the help of Apache North Sea, which paid £10,000 for a new Triumph Tiger motorbike.
The new addition will enable the group to increase its workload and transport urgent supplies between hospitals and other facilities.
The bike was supplied by local motorcycle sales and service centre, Shirlaws, and was unveiled at a naming ceremony at Apache’s Kingwells office.
Simon Jackson, trustee of Nervs, said: “We spoke to our sister groups around Scotland and England and knew to expect an increase in demand once we had been going for a while.
“It may increase even more in the future because it’s a relatively new service in Grampian.
“We have more than 150 volunteers with about 40 to 50 active just now, lots of volunteers work offshore so are only able to do bits and pieces for us.
“It was a chance meeting that we had with Apache’s charity team that led to this – we were able to do a presentation and tell them about our service.”
The group was founded by Neil Powers, who wanted to give something back to Grampian health staff after he experienced their hard work first hand when his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, and later dermatomyositis, a rare inflammatory disease.
The charity bikers routinely travel long distances and have been a part of cross-country relay deliveries.
Jillian Owen, commercial, communications and public affairs manager for Apache, said: “North East Rider Volunteers Scotland provides an invaluable service to the Grampian area and Apache is proud to support such a worthwhile cause.”