The launch of the SERV (Kent) Blood Bike new Headquarters was officially opened on Monday 16 March 2015 by four times and current British Superbike Champion Shane “Shakey” Byrne on behalf of John Surtees OBE and The Henry Surtees Foundation.
SERV (Kent) new staging post is in the heart of the county at what was formally The Kent Police Traffic Post, on Farthing Corner at the M2 Services. The secure compound from which the Charity will operate from consists of garaging, welfare facilities, offices and a training suite and will serve as a central hub for the charity’s lifesaving work.
Kent resident Shane Byrne visited SERV (Kent) Blood Bike Headquarters to officially open the new premises. The Lambeth-born motorcycle racer has had an illustrious racing career spanning over 15 years. He is a four times and current British Superbike Champion, a race winner in the World Superbike Championship and former competitor in MotoGP. As well as multiple championship successes, the hard-charging motorcycle racer has, like many in the sport, has succumbed to crashes.
He said: “I was absolutely honoured to be asked to represent John Surtees OBE and The Henry Surtees Foundation to officially open the SERV (Kent) Headquarters on his behalf. Charities like the Blood Bikes and Air Ambulances do an incredible job. I hope that I will never need their services, but it’s a charity that resonates with me and fellow bikers. I’ve chased time at race tracks in pursuit of podiums, but for the likes of the Air Ambulances and Blood Bike groups, every second can literally be the matter of life or death. These new headquarters are easily accessible will enable them to continue their vital lifesaving work across the county’.
Mel Johnson, Secretary of SERV (Kent) said ‘we are delighted that Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne was able to open the premises on behalf of the Henry Surtees Foundation. We all appreciate his support. Over the past three years of working with John Surtees, The Henry Surtees Foundation and The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust we have had a huge boost both financially and with raising our profile. This boost has helped us make this significant step forward enabling us to open our new Head Office which will further enhance and improve our quality of service to both the NHS and our Charity Partners’.
The Henry Surtees Foundation have been long term supporters of SERV (Kent) and most notably helped fund the recent project which enabled the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance and SERV(Kent) to be able to facilitate the carrying of ‘Blood on Board’ and the means to transfuse at the scene of major incidents. This initiative to date has been used well over hundred times on many of the most seriously and critically injured patients that the Air Ambulance attends.
The initiative proved such a success that it has since been replicated by SERV’s sister charities, the Northumbria and Cumbria Blood Bike groups. Last month former motorcycle racer and current commentator James Whitham officially handed over two Vauxhall Mokka 1.7CDTi 4×4 SUVs to be used by the two Blood Bike groups providing all-weather transport for the ferrying of the blood between hospital and aircraft. Both vehicles were once again supported and funded by The Henry Surtees Foundation. It is hoped that the initiative will continue to roll out across the country.