Students in East Devon given ‘fantastic insight’ into volunteering for Honiton-based Devon Freewheelers charity

Students in East Devon on course to be rescuers, protectors and volunteers of the future have learned about the ‘amazing work’ of the Devon Freewheelers charity, based in Honiton.

Devon Freewheelers volunteer Dave Cook gave a ‘fantastic insight’ into the service of the Devon Blood Bikes, supporting the NHS for free, when he spoke to Military and Protective Services Academy students, at Bicton College, near Exmouth.

Scott Lawson, Curriculum Area Manager at Bicton College, said: “Dave was brilliant and gave our learners a fantastic insight into the amazing work of the charity.

“Our students study the military and emergency services and cover a module on the voluntary sector.

“It is so important for them to understand the crucial interoperability between operational and voluntary sectors.”

As part of his visit, Dave explained how the charity works around the clock for free, what the volunteers do in the community and how the trained riders and drivers transport blood, breast milk, medical equipment, samples for testing, patient notes, medication, and supplies to the air ambulance service.

Russell Roe, Devon Freewheelers Deputy CEO, said: “Part of the students’ curriculum looks at the voluntary sector and how it links to other services.

“The students were interested to hear about how the Devon Freewheelers charity operates and how Dave utilises his previous experience in the Army and Police in his voluntary role as a Blood Biker.

“It’s great to meet enthusiastic young people keen to learn about the charity because they could be our future volunteers.”

Mr Roe said the coronavirus pandemic halted the charity’s community talks for several months.

Instead, Devon Freewheelers introduced virtual talks for groups and organisations keen to learn about the work of the charity and its volunteers.

The tailored talks, in return for a donation, proved a success with supporters of the charity, while raising much-needed funds for the Devon Blood Bikes service.

Mr Roe said: “Fundraising over the past year has proved incredibly challenging because of social distancing and lockdown laws, but the virtual talks have helped the charity overcome some of these obstacles.

“It’s been fantastic to move away from meeting online and be able to get back out into the communities we serve.

“The volunteers always enjoy meeting the charity’s supporters face-to-face, and taking the Blood Bikes with them, and we were grateful to be invited to Bicton College to talk to the Military and Protective Services Academy students.”

  • To book a virtual or in-person talk for your group or organisation, call the Devon Freewheelers office on 0300 800 0105.

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