In a sprinkle of Christmas cheer, a local patisserie baked over a hundred cakes that were personally delivered to tireless health care workers by some not-so-‘tyre’-less volunteers.
For the second year in a row, the non-profit organisation Bloodbikes Australia sent out its crew of motorcyclists to Puckles Family Bakehouse at Orion Springfield Central on December 16 for a ‘cake run’.
They collected a total of 115 fruitcakes for delivery to hospitals and health clinics across the Ipswich region, something that is fast becoming an annual tradition.
“As a group, we have first-hand experience with the outstanding dedication of our frontline healthcare workers,” Bloodbikes founder Peter Davis said leading up to the big day.
“Bloodbikes volunteers will have the privilege of delivering Christmas cakes to the healthcare workers at the various hospitals and clinics that benefit from Bloodbikes’ service.
“These packages of tasty treats [will] lift spirits and spread Christmas cheer amongst these frontline healthcare heroes.”
Bloodbikes Australia is a nationwide group of volunteers that offers free last-resort transport for anything medical, such as blood tests.
Peter conceived of the group after visiting Scotland in 2019, well before COVID-19 first hit. There he encountered the original ‘blood bikes’ – a familiar sight on United Kingdom roads.
Because of their mobility, these volunteer bikers can fill in logistical gaps when needed, especially during times of strained capacity.
And after nearly two years of building the team from the ground up, Bloodbikes Australia now boasts 175 Queensland riders and more than 400 Australia-wide, servicing many of the region’s hospitals.
The inaugural cake run took place during Christmas 2021 and proved immensely successful, with the delivery of over 100 cakes, as well as essential hospital supplies, across more than 400 km in just one day.
“Puckles owner Sat Narayan bakes these cakes with love. This year he is making even more cakes that will be delivered in Brisbane, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast, the Gold Coast, and Northern New South Wales.”
Sat said his bakery’s involvement arose from his desire to give something back to those who have worked so hard during the pandemic – those whom he believes go largely unnoticed.
“Fully self-funded by all the volunteers… these beautiful people – who usually take blood, COVID tests, and anything else that supports our frontline workers when nobody else can – [we] decided today to do something special.
Sat came up with the idea for the cake run together with Peter back in 2021, and doing it again a year later took little convincing.
“It all started from COVID, when the frontline workers were putting themselves on the line to save others,” he explained.
“I thought: ‘we did this last year, so why don’t we do this year as well?’ Something to give back to our community within my reach,” Sat said.
“Thank you to the Bloodbikes, and thank you, frontline workers.”
Volunteer Paul Malcolm said he and his partner Carolyn did a five-hospital trip around the Scenic Rim in 2021, transporting cakes along with essential supplies to and from Ipswich, Boonah, Laidley, Gatton, and Esk.
In a show of flexibility, fellow volunteer John Cleeton did some late-notice backtracking to bring more urgent supplies to Esk, Paul explained.
“After Boonah, [fellow volunteer John Cleeton] got a call to return to Ipswich and pick up some more urgent supplies for Esk. John caught up with us at Gatton and we completed the run and returned to Ipswich pathology.
Debra Hornsby, Mater Pathology General Manager, praised the Bloodbikes for their service.
“They’re a fantastic group of people who volunteer their time to actually help their community in such a significant way,” Debra said.
“They do a fantastic job, and I’m very proud of the fact that we were the first to give them a go.”
Puckles Family Bakehouse is located at 36/1 Main Street, Springfield Central, at the Orion shopping centre.
For more information about the Bloodbikes, visit www.facebook.com/bloodbikesaustralia.