My opinion piece in last week’s Rye News about bikers being back at Strand Quay and the town not being ready for it as there were no toilets or cafes open, received rather a lot of comments. Some were in agreement, especially concerning the noise, which seemed worse than before the lockdown. Others, mostly bikers, suggested that they contribute to the town’s economy and that it is only a few who spoil it for the many.
There was one response which was particularly interesting and positive by Sam Beech. He is a volunteer for the Bike Shed Community Response Team. They are backed by Team Rubicon UK disaster response, who are working with the government and the Red Cross. Wavestone, a consultancy company, helped the Bike Shed volunteers by researching lots of organisational apps and found a suitable one which was adapted for free, and Indian Motorcycles offered to cover the costs of services that the group itself couldn’t get free.
The volunteer riders take services to individuals and organizations, responding to the Covid-19 crisis. Using motor cycles they can be fast, efficient and flexible in their delivery.
Currently, most of their tasks are transporting PPE (personal protective equipment) parts to a hub where they are assembled and then delivering them to the relevant places. But they can also pick up medication, deliver food or documents.
Some are DBS checked (the Disclosure and Barring Service covering court and police information) which means they can do needs assessments and check on people who might need front-line help. DBS was previously called the CRB (Criminal Records Bureau).
The volunteers are happy to do one off or lots of tasks in a day. Their network comprises of 800 volunteers in South East and can cover many miles across country with a relay system. The back up support team allocates the jobs to riders, monitoring and tracking each job and via a link will send out pick up and delivery contacts. It is a charity venture and no companies are paid. Anyone interested in finding out more or has a bike and wants to volunteer visit the website.
Image Credits: Heidi Foster , Omni Matryx / Pixabay https://pixabay.com/photos/corona-coronavirus-covid-covid-19-5017617/.