Bikers invited to take part in hospital toy run for sick children

A selection of the gifts collected last year, (2014) with Blood Bike volunteers and children's ward staff.

A selection of the gifts collected last year, (2014) with Blood Bike volunteers and children's ward staff.

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Big hearted bikers will take to the roads again with their annual toy run for sick children.

Nottinghamshire Blood Bikes are organising a toy collection and motorcycle run this December to provide the King’s Mill Hospital children’s ward with a festive treat.

Toys, games, books and puzzles will be delivered to the hospital on Sunday December 20 and will be given to children who receive treatment over Christmas and the New Year, providing a welcome boost to morale for patients and their families at a distressing time.

Fundraising Officer, John Devlin, said: “We’re already working closely with King’s Mill and decided to spend a little time organising something for the children who face a pretty bleak December, away from their normal surroundings.

“We completed a toy collection for the ward last year, but felt we needed to get the bikes in action this time, so it’s a joint effort of collecting toys and games in advance, plus a delivery by two wheels on the day.”

The toy run itself will start from the main car park of Sainsbury’s Mansfield, with riders meeting up from 9am onwards, ready to depart at 10am.

The group will make its way to King’s Mill and, following the official handover, continue onwards to the Giltbrook Retail Park in Kimberley, where volunteers will be carrying out a pre-arranged fundraiser, collecting funds for their ongoing charitable service.

Sainsbury’s Mansfield are also collecting toys, as they have previously, and will feature a collection trolley inside the store for several weeks in the lead up.

Customers, and the general public at large, can contribute to the great cause at any time, both in-store or via the Blood Bike team by arrangement.

All bikers are welcome to participate in the Toy Run itself, with no restrictions on engine size or bike style: the final leg route planning avoids the M1 motorway, so learners can join in too.

Riders can choose to complete just the first leg if they wish, with the only requirement being a contribution of toys.

Nicola Armstrong, Play Leader for King’s Mill children’s ward, said: “We’ve had incredible support of the biking community over the years, from Egg Runs to Toy Appeals. We’re so pleased to be able to work hand-in-hand with the fantastic volunteers at Nottinghamshire Blood Bikes – last year’s toy collection was really encouraging and made a big difference to so many patients – the public’s generosity was amazing.”

The motorcycle charity, run by unpaid volunteers, move life-saving blood and human donor breast milk to hospitals in the county, completely free of charge.

Nottinghamshire Blood Bikes have already begun working with King’s Mill Hospital to transport donor breast milk for premature babies, but are due to begin moving blood for other Nottinghamshire hospitals within the next few months, a process which undoubtedly saves lives, as well as money.

Full details of the 2015 Toy Run can be found online at www.nottinghamshirebloodbikes.org/toyrun2015

The Blood Bike team is seeking donations of teddies, soft toys, board games, puzzle books, action figures and dolls, all of which must be new and should not be gift-wrapped, aiding the prompt distribution by hospital staff. Gifts can be for boys, girls or unisex and suitable for ages from birth to 16.