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Mark Master Masons of Surrey
National Blood Bikes Dedication and Handover

On the 17th August 2018 our Provincial Grand Master, RW.Bro. Ian Clark, and I drove up to Birmingham for the Mark Benevolent Fund National Blood Bikes Dedication and Handover. To coincide with the Blood Bikes Awareness Day the national handover took place at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham where we celebrated the important services given completely free by volunteers, to all our communities.

National Blood Bikes Dedication and Handover

After registration and refreshments the Grand Secretary, RW.Bro. Ryan Williams, Honorary Secretary of the Mark Benevolent Fund, welcomed everyone and introduced a short video presentation on the work of the National Association of Blood Bikes (NABB).

He then introduced two NABB Representatives, Peter Robertson, Chairman, and Graham Moor, Head of Marketing who spoke about the work of the National Association of Blood Bikes how our partnership with Blood Bikes began.

National Blood Bikes Dedication and Handover

The Mark Benevolent Fund became aware of the role of blood bike charities in January 2016 when an application was received from Northumbria Blood Bikes. Subsequent applications then followed as word spread about the work of the M.B.F. Most blood bike charities come under the umbrella of the Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes (itself a registered charity) which acts as a representative body for blood bike groups throughout the UK. Their aim is to assist in the promotion of public health through voluntary support of hospital services. The charity provides out of hours transportation services for local NHS sites in the movement of blood and human tissue. Other organisations can also benefit from the work they do, all free of charge thus reducing the strain on NHS funding.

National Blood Bikes Dedication and Handover

In May 2017 the Mark Benevolent Fund Charity Walk took place encompassing all Royal Parks in central London along the seven-mile route of The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk. The event was embraced by hundreds of Mark Master Masons, their friends and families, and raised an astounding £437,934. The Trustees of the Mark Benevolent Fund wanted to give something back to the Brethren in the Provinces who had given so generously and decided to invite all blood bike charities in England and Wales to apply for funding for a new vehicle. Mark Provinces covering the majority of England and Wales are serviced by these charities and all that applied received a new vehicle. To date the M.B.F. has sponsored 16 Blood Bikes and 10 Blood Cars.

A total of 26 Blood Bike Charities were represented including our own SERV Surrey and South London Blood Runners. Click here to visit their web site.

National Blood Bikes Dedication and Handover

The Grand Chaplain, Revd. Bruce Harry, gave an address and then dedicated the vehicles. These were a variety of bikes and cars.

The Deputy President of the MBF, RW.Bro. Tony Morris gave a presentation on the work of the MBF since it was founded 150 years ago by the Reverend Canon George Raymond Portal, the Most Worshipful Grand Master. The aim was to help poor and distressed Mark Master Mason s and their families. To date over £7 million has been dispersed in grants to individual petitioners. Funds are raised solely by almost 38,000 Mark Master Masons throughout the world. The MBF also makes donations to many other charities and worth causes. These grants have totalled over £20 million since 1868. The vehicles were then handed over to the representatives of the Blood Bikes charities by the Deputy President of the MBF, RW.Bro. Tony Morris. Here are the SERV Surrey and South London Blood Runners.

National Blood Bikes Dedication and Handover

After a very special day RW.Bro. Ian and I braved the traffic along the M42, M40 and M25 home. We both wish we could have ridden one of the bikes home to get there in half the time.

National Blood Bikes Dedication and Handover

Article by Chris Eley, photos by Bob Tuthill and Chris Eley