Steel firm in donation to Tees Valley Blood Bikes charity

Jon Formstone (left) and Mark Say
Image caption Jon Formstone (left) and Mark Say set up the charity earlier this year

A charity which helps keep hospitals and medical centres across Teesside supplied with blood has received a cash boost from steelmaker Tata.

Tees Valley Blood Bikes was set up earlier this year by two Cleveland Police community support officers.

The scheme means vital blood supplies can be ferried to sites during evenings and weekends when normal courier services do not operate.

Tata Steel gave the scheme £2,500 under a project to support local good causes.

Jon Formstone and Mark Say initially raised money through a 3,000-mile motorcycle trip around the UK to set up the scheme in June.

They use two Honda VFR motorcycles, which have been modified with blue flashing lights for use in emergencies.

'Quality of life'

Simon Hamilton, regional manager for UK Steel Enterprise - the community funding arm of Tata Steel, said: "They are doing a great job helping to provide the best possible service for patients across Tees Valley.

"We have supported a number of community projects and this latest funding is a good example of how it helps to improve the quality of life for people living in steel areas."

Mr Formstone said: "We started with seven riders and two bikes that were very generously donated to us.

"All the money we need to maintain the bikes, provide insurance, kit and fuel comes from public and business donations so we spend a lot of our spare time fundraising.

"Our current priority is to keep the bikes running through the winter, whatever the weather, and we also want to expand."

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