By day he works as a CEO in the city, and by night he makes vital high-speed deliveries for life-saving work in the region’s hospitals.
The boss of a Manchester technology firm who is also a blood biker has launched a fund-raising drive to get the charity a new two-wheeled machine.
Andy Lord, who co-founded Credersi which is based in the city centre near the Museum of Science and Industry, hopes to bring in £20,000.
The campaign to support the Northwest Blood Bikes Lancashire & Lakes tees off with a golf day this week.
A high-speed hobby which also helps people
Andy said he first got into biking due to “a classic mid-life crisis”.
However, after being told he had the makings of an excellent rider he decided to do advanced tuition.
And his instructor on that course also volunteered with the blood bikers, who make rapid deliveries of all sorts of medical equipment and supplies that need to be shifted from one hospital to another as fast as possible.
Andy said: “My instructor invited me to come and have a look and see what they did.
“We all know the NHS is under-funded, under-resourced, overworked and overstretched, and I thought what better way to combine my love of motorbikes with doing something good for other people.
“There’s a big waiting list but I signed up, did my assessment and they let me in.”
Fund-raising to be able to support more hospitals and patients
Andy has now been a blood biker for around 18 months and has decided that the branch of the charity he rides with could do with another specialist fleet machine to add to the two it already has.
The first event is on Friday 27 August and is a golf day at the Dunham Forrest course in Altrincham.
Andy is hoping to bring in around £4,000 or £5,000 from the event and is currently racking his brains for more fund-raising ideas.
He said: “As an advanced biker you get to ride the liveried machines. It’s a great privilege to be blasting around in the evenings on this wonderful bike.
“We’ve got two of them but I just feel that’s not enough, especially as there are 60 volunteers in the group I’m in.”
What do the blood bikers do?
As the name of the charity suggests, the blood bikers are best known for taking blood and organs from one hospital to another when they are needed for emergency procedures or transplants.
However, Andy says being a blood biker involves transporting a lot of objects that need to be on the move in a hurry.
He said: “The biggest thing I do is express deliveries of breast milk between maternity units.
“There is also paperwork, when patients’ notes need to be blasted between one hospital and another.
“We’ve also been helping with a lot of NHS Covid testing, taking them to hospital labs.
“The shifts are 7pm until 2am and it’s non-stop. You know you are going to be busy.
“It’s a real privilege when you walk into a hospital at 1am and realise that illnesses or having babies don’t stick to a nine-to-five routine. You get to see the other side.
“There is no greater privilege than to be supporting the NHS, the patients and the wider community. The NHS was just amazing throughout the Covid-19 crisis.
“If there was ever a time to see their professionalism, commitment and compassion to their work then it was during the pandemic that we truly understand their value.”
The charity provides the service at weekends, on bank holidays and throughout the Christmas and New Year period. Since its formation some 1,042 volunteers have given their time to the blood bikers, which has completed 100,000 call outs, travelled 150,000 miles and saved the NHS £550,000.
A day job in tech
Andy’s evenings in motorbike leathers and a helmet waiting to pilot their specially-equipped bikes in all weathers are a far cry from his day job with a laptop dealing in the virtual reality world.
He is the CEO of Credersi, a tech company which he co-founded with technology innovator and entrepreneur Darren Coomer.
The company uses the latest cutting-edge virtual reality to train the next generation of lab technicians, scientists, computer, codebreakers, vaccine developers, bio scientists and cyber defenders of the future.
Andy says he is now thinking about combining his career with his fund-raising campaign by putting on a tech-themed event such as a hackathon.
How to get involved in the fund-raising
There are still places available for Friday’s golf day, and they can be booked by emailing Sophie.Duncan@credersi.com For more information on the North West Blood Bikes Lancashire & Lakes visit https://nwbb-lancs.org
And to make a donation to help raise funds for a new emergency blood bike go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/credersi