Pakefield Church’s Mothers’ Union meets from 2.00 – 3.30pm in the Church Hall on the third Thursday of each month. They are a friendly group of ladies (although men may also join). Some of them run the monthly Teddy Edward Club in church for babies and pre-school children and their parents. They also host and lead the Living for Life course that we run as part of our marriage preparation course. And two of them are the Diocesan organisers of AFIA (Away From It All) holidays for families who need a break but who can’t afford it.
The short service at our meeting on the 15th March incorported Easter partially falling in this month and Mothers’ Union organisation. Despite being worldwide with over four million members, little publicity is given in the media to the work carried out by members globally seeking to support families worldwide. We have our own advocate, our member Sandra Bendall, who, at very short notice, informed the packed congregation at Pakefield Church celebrating Mothering Sunday that members of branches do not sit chatting and knitting, although we can do both quite easily, but work hard at each meeting to provide funds for the work carried out by this movement and she listed the many activities we run to do so.
We greeted our speaker, Philip Cudmore, who came to talk to us about SERV Norfolk (Service by Emergency Response by Volunteers) – a registered charity – also known as Blood Bikes, he is one of the volunteers. This was an organisation of which members had not come across and this may be because this service operates after office hours and through the night every day of the year. This service allows the NHS to divert funds where needed most.
Working from a rota, volunteers take vital supplies to hospitals such as platelets, donated breast milk, blood, samples, vaccines or any other urgently required medicalitems. Mostly these are delivered by motor cycles but if a larger vehicle is required or the weather is bad cars can be used. The cars in the pool are each named after the doners. The whole of the country is covered, Philip and his colleagues cover from James Paget to North Norfolk or, if further afield, can be part of a relay, in fact, they liaise with Herts & Beds and Cambridge. They drive on their own licence and are provided with sirens and flashing lights and wear high viz jackets.
There had been a very successful Easter raffle and the money made from this and from members donating, the sum of £65 was raised for this vital service which benefits not only our local community but our country. Philip said they are often to be seen at bike shows,public events and summer fayres raising money for this valuable cause.