Volunteer bikers roll out across Northamptonshire to deliver presciptions by motorcycle

A team of motorcyclists are working to put prescriptions into the hands of patients.

By Alastair Ulke
Thursday, 7th May 2020, 4:42 pm
Updated Friday, 8th May 2020, 11:32 am

A squadron of volunteer motorcyclists is delivering prescriptions directly to patients' doorsteps to take the pressure of Northamptonshire's pharmacies.

The dozens of biking enthusiasts from the Northampton Advanced Motorcyclists group (NAMMC) have been cooped up since the lockdown began.

But now, they are using their skills to make sure hundreds of patients a week are getting vital medicine during the coronavirus outbreak.

Manager of Abington Pharmacy David Ashton with one of PharmaBike's riders.

They have joined up with biking groups in Milton Keynes, Peterborough and Cambridge to form Pharmabike - a volunteer service to bring prescriptions to self-isolating homes.

Co-ordinator Andrew Beckett said: "It means a lot to hear back from pharmacies who say they're grateful we could be there to help. But our riders also say how grateful there were to do it and ask when they can next help.

"A lot of our members are used to volunteering. I think some people don't think motorcyclists have the best reputation but we want to use this as a chance to put our skills to use and do something useful."

The NAMMC is a volunteer group that works to polish motorcyclists' skills and help improve road safety.

In the last three weeks, eight pharmacies in Northamptonshire have used Pharmabike to put prescriptions in the hands of patients, and the group is delivering 200 times a week in the county.

Riders make no-contact deliveries to patients' doors and have even helped pharmacies with deliveries on weekends.

One rider, Andrew Harmer, 44, from Wellingborough, has been delivering prescriptions to houses in Abington.

He said: "Every time I've been out to someone's house it's been warmly received. It's just nice to give something back to the community.

"It's also good to be back on the bike with a valid reason. I've been at home pulling out what little hair I've got left."

Andrew said: "We're serious about what we're doing. Rider safety is very important. When we first announced we were doing it we were bombarded with volunteers but we had to make sure no one in their family had had coronavirus yet to be safe.

"One of the Institue of Advanced Motorcyclists members in Peterborough, Dr Tim Helstrip, came up with a policy and procedure manual to show we're serious about what we're doing.

"We're reaching out to pharmacies and dispensaries to let them know what we do and how we can help."