1. ITV Report

Volunteer's legacy lives on as bike named in his memory

Martin Dixon was a volunteer blood bike rider who died last year Photo: Credit: Dixon family

A motorbike has been handed over to a medical charity, named in honour of one of its volunteers.

Martin Dixon was an established member of Cleveland and North Yorkshire Blood Bikes. The charity is part of a network around the country, which delivers blood for the NHS out of hours.

Mr Dixon died last November after a road accident in Hartlepool, which happened while he was on his way to pick up samples.

Since then, his family has collected £16,500 from a series of fund raising events, including coffee mornings and raffles. That money has been used to buy a new bike, bringing the organisation's fleet to five. Additional money has been donated to cover the bike's running costs for around two years.

The blood bike is handed over to the charity Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

The bike was handed to the charity at a ceremony in Billingham this weekend. Mr Dixon's son, also called Martin, says it is a fitting tribute to his father.

It allows his legacy to live on, still doing the blood bike work that he always used to love doing. He's still out on the road and he's still helping people like he always wanted to do.

If he could see it, he would be over the moon. He always wanted these bikes for the charity and to have one with his name on now - you couldn't ask for anything more.

– Martin Dixon Jr

Cleveland and North Yorkshire Blood Bikes covers an area from Peterlee to Northallerton. It frequently links up with neighbouring branches, in order to transport samples around the region, and the country. The aim is to reduce costs on the NHS, because the blood is transported free of charge.

Trustee Anthony Finegan says the new bike will be a huge benefit to the charity and ultimately, to patients.

It makes a significant difference to the amount of work that we can do ... (which) means quicker diagnosis, faster response through our fleet of bikes, and we're able to move the samples that need to be moved, get people diagnosed, hopefully get them on the road to recovery faster and all the time it's about saving money for the NHS.

– Anthony Finegan, Trustee

The new bike, which is inscribed with Martin's name, will be out and about, helping to save lives, in the coming days.

Martin's name is inscribed on the bike Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Watch Helen Ford's report here: