A CHARITY are aiming to raise thousands of pounds in a bid to help their bikers keep delivering blood to hospitals across Hampshire amid coronavirus.

SERV Wessex usually transports blood, platelets, urgent medical samples and equipment as well as breast milk, to hospitals in the county, including Dorset and south Wiltshire, but has been changing its service to support the NHS.

Now the charity are looking to raise £6,500 to ensure their drivers can keep their fuel tanks topped up while some volunteers are covering "600 miles a day" to deliver supplies.

Secretary for SERV Wessex, Blain Kelly, said: "Last year we covered 178,000 miles and this year so far it has increased significantly with coronavirus, so our volunteers are doing 600 miles a day in some cases.

"In April 2019 we carried out 243 runs, compared to 570 in April this year; our volunteers have covered over 22,000 miles in April, and around 16,000 of those were on their own bikes at their own expense.

"We are a charity that relies on donations to do the job and our normal way of fundraising involves standing outside of Tesco on a Saturday and Sunday, but all of that has stopped now.

"While demand has gone up massively our money has stopped coming in so we are running an online campaign to help our volunteers pay for their fuel, as we are working 24/7 now."

The 34-year-old from Romsey added: "We put up the campaign two weeks ago and we have managed to raise £5,220 so far; one of the things that took us by surprise is a lot of the hospital staff we work with have been very generous as well.

"They are very busy at the moment and are not the highest earners, so it goes to show they really appreciate what we are doing and it is good to see the support."

When asked how long it could take for the charity to hit their target, Blain said: "If the funds keep coming in at the rate they have been we will probably hit it within a week."

To donate go to virginmoneygiving.com/fund/helpforfuel.