West Lancashire Mark Master Masons - 8th May 2021
“It’s in the Blood”
This is a story to show just one of the ways your many donations to the Mark Benevolence Fund and to West Lanc’s Mark Charities Fund is helping the NHS and people in many counties, even on some occasions I’m sure saving lives during this terrible Pandemic.
We are all hoping I’m sure that soon we can all get back to some kind of normal living, but until then look after yourselves and keep in touch with your family, friends and all the members of your Mark Lodge’s.
Now the report I asked for from one of my own Mark Lodge members.
Blood Bikes Manchester Mark Masons.
Three years ago, the Mark Benevolent Fund donated a Dacia Duster to Blood Bikes Manchester for use as a response vehicle. The Duster, fleet name Mark, but known to the drivers as Mark Mason has been in constant use since it was donated and has travelled some 48,000 miles in supporting the NHS.
This vehicle donated by the Mark Benevolent Fund is regularly driven by a Mark Master Mason. Bro, The Rev Robert Murphy, Junior Warden of Flixton Shepherd Eastwood Lodge 1173.  Bro Murphy, in addition to being Secretary of his craft Lodge and Secretary of a Masonic Hall Co & Management Team, volunteered as a response driver for Blood Bikes Manchester, in his “free time” His work as driver regularly takes him across four Masonic Provinces, West and East Lancashire, Cheshire and Yorkshire West Riding, carrying Blood and Blood products from NHS Blood & Transplant centres to Hospitals.
Blood Bikes Manchester is a registered charity which offers an out of hours, free of charge urgent medical courier service to the NHS. The service normally operates 7.00pm through to 06.00am and 24 hours at weekends and public holidays.  However, since the start of the Pandemic our service has been operating 24hrs, 24/7. The call out and workload has increased 10-fold during this time and since the commencement of 2021 the service has carried out over 1200 runs, or jobs, for the NHS.
Our riders are a hardy bunch that operate in all but the very worst weather, so as a backup we have a fleet of cars to take the place of our motorcycle if necessary. The additional demands, wear and tear and repairs costs placed on our motorcycles and cars has been exceedingly heavy.
The riders and drivers carry Blood and Blood Products, Donor breast milk and Frozen human milk from the Human Milk bank to Neonatal Intensive Care units for premature and sick babies across the region, urgent blood samples for analysis to regional Blood & Transplant centres, Covid samples & transplant samples.
Blood Bikes Manchester depends entirely on public sponsorship and donations to maintain a service. Fundraising is extremely important, as a charity we do not receive any form of payment for our service, so rely fully on donations from members of the public and sponsorship from local businesses.  The Pandemic has seen a total stop on any fundraising throughout 2020 and into this year at a time when unfortunately, the charity needed additional funds to cover the additional demands placed on its resources.
This story shows just one of the many way’s that your generous donations contribute in many ways to the wellbeing of so many people.

Austin N Fletcher. PGStwd.   Flixton Shepherd Eastwood.  No. 1173.
Story and pictures supplied by my good friend Bro. The Rev Bob Murphy.  JW. FSE Mark No.1173.
Many Thanks Bob.  Mark Well.