New ‘friends’ get a funding boost

Youngsters at Cramlington Rockets with one of the Northumbria Blood Bikes volunteers.
Youngsters at Cramlington Rockets with one of the Northumbria Blood Bikes volunteers.

A partnership between a vital charity and a sports team is beginning to blossom.

Morpeth-based Northumbria Blood Bikes has struck up a link with rugby league side Cramlington Rockets following a junior gala.

The friendship has developed after both successfully bid for a £25,000 grant from the Aviva Community Fund.

Despite both being in the running for the same award, Northumbria Blood Bikes was ultimately successful but due to the Rockets being one of only three organisations in the country to receive a Judges’ Choice reward, it meant neither organisation had to miss out.

Cramlington Rockets chairman Jeff Ball said: “We were thrilled that Northumbria Blood Bikes were able to come down and support us on Finals Day.

“The Blood Bikes are so essential and saves so many lives every year, so it was great that we could raise awareness of their work within the North East Rugby League Community.

“After having being pitched against them purely by chance for the Aviva funding, we are now fully aware of the excellent work they do.

“We felt terrible to be going against our near neighbours, something they also felt. Therefore when the winners were announced, it was definitely a mixture of excitement and relief for both of us.”

Northumbria Blood Bikes, established by local volunteers, delivers essential blood and urgent medical supplies, out of hours, between hospitals and healthcare sites and laboratories.

To find out more about either organisation, visit cramlingtonrockets.co.uk and northumbriabloodbikes.org.uk