Volunteers sought for Devon Freewheelers

PUBLISHED: 18:30 21 April 2015 | UPDATED: 13:50 06 May 2015

Archant

Devon Freewheelers is always keen to recruit new volunteers to promote the charity and raise vital funds.

While fundraising is a big part of a volunteer’s role, the charity also needs call handlers and qualified motorcyclists.

Riders need to hold an advanced riding qualification before they can Ride for Life.

Daniel Lavery, DFW founder, said: “All the volunteers work extremely hard and very rarely get a thank you.

“I call them volunteers, but they are hidden heroes because rarely will a patient ever meet them, or even be aware they have been involved in their recovery process.”

Pensioner Ian Western has shown it is never too late to get involved with the charity.

Ian had been riding motorbikes for the last 50 years when, aged 67, he looked into how he could help Devon Freewheelers as a rider.

He passed his advanced motorcyclist test in the summer of 2014, contacted charity founder Daniel Lavery, and arranged a ride inspection.

Ian said: “A friend of mine was looking at a car display on Torquay’s seafront when he noticed a Devon Freewheelers’ motorcyclist collecting funds. My friend knew I was a keen motorcyclist and suggested I looked into the possibility of helping, although I had to be an advanced motorcyclist. Even though I had been riding motorbikes for 50 years, I needed to pass this test, set by the Institute of Advanced Motorcyclist.

“I was 67 at the time and was not sure whether I was too old to be considered, so I arranged a taster ride. This was carried out by Max Nelson, then a current police rider. Although I could handle my large motorcycle, I soon realised I had a lot to learn.”

Armed with the necessary qualification, Ian received his blood bike jacket and set about shadowing an existing rider. He said: “I am looking forward to carrying out collections and deliveries, knowing every trip could be helping the sick, or even saving a life.”

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