From biker to hiker

Tony Hudspith
Tony Hudspith

A LIFESAVING biker is swapping his leathers for walking boots to reach England’s highest point twice in the same day.

Tony Hudspith is raising money for the Blood Bike service by climbing 3,200ft up Scafell Pike, in the Lake District, on Saturday.

But the 38 year old is not happy with just one trip up the rocky peak as he plans to hit the summit again before the day is out.

The volunteer with the blood run charity will be setting off with his brother Chris and four friends at 7.30am with the aim to be finished by nightfall.

Dad-of-two Tony, from Seaton Carew, said: “A few times a year, myself, my brother and a few lads, who are spread out across the country, meet up and go mountain climbing.

“We’re all accomplished mountaineers so we thought we’d make things more challenging, especially as some of them aren’t spring chickens anymore!

“We thought it would be a great idea to get sponsored and raise money for what is a very worthwhile cause.”

The Blood Bike operation was set up as a satellite service under the Whiteknights charity by two Hartlepool police community safety officers (PCSOs), Jon Formstone and Mark Say.

It saves the NHS money by providing volunteer riders on evenings and weekends when the internal courier system is not working.

They transport vital items such as blood, diagnostic specimens and medical equipment between health sites in the area, including the University Hospital of Hartlepool and the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton.

They also have permission to use sirens as well as lights to safely make their way through traffic.

Tony, who has volunteered for a year and also speaks to potential new riders, said: “We don’t claim to save lives, but we like to think we have played our part and are very proud of what we do.

“It works on a shift basis and sometimes you get no calls, which is great because hopefully that means no-one is ill. Other nights you can have three or four and it can be busy.”

PCSO Formstone and PCSO Say were nominated in the Emergency Services Hero category of the Hartlepool Mail’s Pride in Hartlepool Awards, which took place last month, for their role in setting up the local service.

To sponsor Tony, who runs security firm Crusader Alarms, or to find out more about the service ring him on 07970 413437 or visit www.bloodrun.co.uk