In early 2020, Cooper Tire Europe announced that it would be supporting the Leicestershire & Rutland Blood Bikes by equipping the charitable organisation’s van and motorcycle fleet with products from the Avon Tyres brand.
Under the arrangement, Avon ZT7 (van) and Avon Spirit ST (motorcycle) tyres were supplied, enabling the organisation to deal with the variety of roads and weather conditions encountered.
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Run by volunteers, the Leicestershire & Rutland Blood Bikes team delivers blood, plasma, platelets, samples and other urgently required medical items to public health bodies in the Leicestershire and Rutland counties – covering an area of 979 square miles.
Under normal circumstances, public health bodies would use taxis or courier companies to transport the aforementioned products. However, with the Leicestershire and Rutland Blood Bikes’ free, voluntary service, funds saved can be re-directed to the National Health Service.
The group experienced a number of changes to operational life during the COVID-19 pandemic, adapting quickly and effectively. In the early stages, the bulk of operations were focused on delivering COVID-19 samples between hospitals in Leicestershire. It was also involved in relay runs with a number of other blood bike groups across the East Midlands, as part of the regional response by the NHS to increased sampling and testing.
As the pandemic continued, the Leicestershire & Rutland Blood Bikes moved to a 24/7 operation in order to provide additional back up and support between March and April.
Cecilia Razeto, Head of Marketing & Communication, EMEA, Cooper Tire Europe, said: “We are proud to have been supporting the outstanding efforts of the Leicestershire & Rutland Blood Bikes group over the past year. As the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the group’s importance and value to the community around them was only highlighted further. We are delighted that Avon Tyres could play an integral part in the delivery of their service.”
Jonathan Bostock, Vice Chairman, Leicestershire & Rutland Blood Bikes General Committee, said: “I wanted to say thank you on behalf of the group for the support from Avon Tyres throughout 2020. The feedback we received from the team was very positive and tyre wear on the motorbikes improved when using Avon Tyres products. Little did we know how the year was to change so dramatically, and the cost savings were all the more beneficial to our group.”