A GOSPORT man is helping to save lives in three counties by delivering urgent medical consignments in his spare time.
Richard Hobden, 32, works as an IT test analyst at SGN’s Technology Centre in Havant.
In his spare time he works as a volunteer dispatch rider for the charity Serv Wessex, which delivers blood, breast milk and other medical supplies for free out of hours.
Richard, who lives in Gosport, joined Serv after seeing an advertisement at a motorbike show appealing for volunteers.
He said: ‘I thought it was something worthwhile I could do, so I signed up straight away. I can’t describe the feeling I get knowing that I’m helping someone in need, even if it is 3am on a cold, wet Tuesday morning.’
One delivery in particular summed up why he volunteers. Richard was asked to make an urgent delivery of blood to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.
‘I was met at the hospital entrance by a grateful pathologist, who told me it would be going straight to the maternity ward for a baby,’ he explained. ‘It was only when I had my own baby six months ago that it really brought home to me what a vital service Serv provides.’
Serv Wessex is one of several charities around the country that provide a free out of hours transportation service for urgent consignments.
Steve Morton from Serv Wessex, said: ‘We are extremely grateful to Richard and all our other volunteers who provide a largely unnoticed service in the wee small hours. We are particularly pleased to be working with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance again this year, keeping the helicopter supplied with blood so that they can undertake lifesaving transfusions at the scene of a trauma.’
In 2015, the charity’s riders covered 97,000 miles and saved the NHS £18,200.