News & Updates

SERV Surrey & London receives The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

We are delighted to share with you that today, we have been awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The QAVS is the highest award, equivalent to the MBE, given to local volunteer groups across the UK, to recognise the outstanding work done in their own community.

SERV Surrey & London are a charity organisation, made up entirely of volunteers. We transport blood products, urgent samples, medical supplies along with donated breast milk to hospitals and milk banks across Surrey & London. We also ensure that Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex are restocked daily with the trauma blood that they carry on their aircraft. SERV S&L regularly act as a relay partner with other blood running groups across the country, as a huge proportion of runs will either start or end in London.

We operate 365 days a year, throughout the night and round the clock on bank holidays, providing our service free of charge to the NHS. This releases more money for patient care.

SERV Surrey & London is one of 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations remains high year on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse.

When asked about achieving this prestigious Award, our Vice Chairman, Chris Butler said,

“We are honoured to have been awarded a QAVS and it is even more meaningful this year as we also received special recognition for our service during Covid-19. The past year has been tough for so many people and our dedicated volunteers stepped up very early on in the pandemic to offer an additional layer of support to our NHS hospitals. We are also celebrating our 40th Anniversary this year, so the Award is such a perfectly timed way to reflect and celebrate the commitment of our members over the past 40 years.”

We would like to say thank you to all our volunteers, past and present for their contribution to our charity. We also extend our thanks to every individual and organisation who has ever donated or fundraised on our behalf. You are the ones who make what we do possible.

Illustrating volunteers celebrating award

Using What3Words To Help Our Service

SERV Surrey & London provide a valuable service to the NHS for free, delivering blood products in urgent situations out of hours that would otherwise take up valuable time from a police car or ambulance, or cost the hospitals hundreds of thousands of pounds every year.

Over the last few years, our charity has grown and provided our service to even more hospitals, covering over 50 hospitals in Surrey and London throughout the night, on weekends, and bank holidays. With such a large number of sites to visit and staff looking to minimise the time people spend inside, we needed accurate ways to guide our volunteers around these hospitals, which can be large places with multiple entrances and sometimes confusing or little signage, particularly for locations the general public aren’t generally allowed.

With the use of What3Words, we now have a system in place to help with that particular problem, providing our volunteers with information on critical locations, such as the correct entrance, without having to resort to ambiguous instructions like, “The blue door next to the parking lot,” and with a reduced chance of typos when using longitude and latitude numbers that could each be up to eight numbers long. This helps us maintain our service whilst minimising contact.

What is What3Words?
In their own words: “what3words has divided the world into 3 metre squares and given each square a unique combination of three words: a what3words address. ///kite.chats.dine, for example, is a precise 3 metre square in a field next to the River Ouse in York. what3words is free to use via the app for iOS and Android or the online map at what3words.com The system works offline, making it ideal for use in areas with an unreliable data connection. what3words addresses cover the entire world and can be used in over 40 languages.”
Check them out at https://what3words.com/about

“My Controller asked me if I would do a delivery to North London, a location that we had recently started deliveries to and I had not visited yet. The delivery was 2 boxes of blood and the timer was counting down. When I arrived, none of the directions made any sense. The waymarkers did not exist, I couldn’t see any of the landmarks mentioned in the directions! The hospital seemed to have a hundred buildings scattered around, and no sign of anyone who might be able to help me. I drove around in circles for 15 minutes – all the while time was running out. Then I remembered what3words and how many members had said what a brilliant app it was. I downloaded what3words onto my phone and entered the location into the app and what do you know, the app didn’t just show me the building I was looking for – it showed me exactly where the doorbell for access to the lab was located!!! I wish I’d used it much earlier, all my stress and worry evaporated!!!”
-Anthony Mann, 

 

Meet ‘Simon’…

We are delighted to introduce our new bike…..’Simon!’
This very special addition to our fleet was donated to SERV Surrey & London in memory of Simon Palmer, who was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident, in June 2019. His friends and family raised over £15,000, purchasing one of the very last Yamaha FJR1300’s off of the production line. Yesterday evening, Simon completed his first run for SERV S&L, restocking the emergency blood supplies for Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex, at Redhill Aerodrome.
We are honoured to carry this tribute and know that this huge contribution will really make a difference and save lives. Stay with us to keep up to date with Simon’s adventures!
motorbike

2020 – Our Year in Numbers

Well! What a year 2020 turned out to be?! The team at SERV Surrey & London are incredibly proud to share with you a snapshot of our year and what we have been getting up to. Whilst our hospitals fought hard on the frontline to tackle Covid-19, we were there to...

3 Years of Service

3 Years of Service

Volunteer Samson reached his 3 anniversary of SERVice on the 18th October. He has turned in nearly 5,000 miles delivering blood products for Surrey and London’s hospitals during nights all year round. With nearly 100 boxes of blood delivered in 2020, and 90 runs (and...

Welcome Brian

Welcome Brian

Welcome, Brian - our newest rider volunteer!Brian has spent his first two years of retirement touring on his motorcycle but when Covid-19 hit, his plans for the year were cancelled. Instead of just idly sitting at home, Brian contacted us to see if he could be of help...

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