Ipswich: Motorcycle group revs up for trauma ward

Bikers who are all too aware of the dangers they face when they take to the road on their beloved machines have today pledged their support for a trauma ward at Ipswich Hospital.

Members of Triangle (Ipswich) Motorcycle Club turned out in force at the hospital for the launch of their 2011 charity run.

They also dedicated a new overhead mirror system that was bought for Needham Ward with the proceeds of last year’s event.

The group’s charity organiser, Neale Harrison, 46, of Felixstowe, said: “We are giving back something to a service that we might need in the future.”

The group decided to fundraise for Needham Ward after club member Russell Smith received care following a life-changing bike accident.

Sandra Gillingham, ward matron, said: “We are a trauma and orthopaedics ward, so we see a lot of motorcyclists come through our doors. Mainly they are younger riders.

“Usually they have lower limb or spinal injuries. We treated Russell for two or three months after he suffered a spinal injury.”

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As she unwrapped the new mirror system, which cost around �1,000 and is the first of its kind at the hospital, the matron said: “When we have someone with a spinal injury they are usually flat on their back in bed so these mirrors allow them to see who is approaching.”

She thanked the group and added: “To think they give up their time to raise money for the ward and by doing something they enjoy is great.

“They always turn out with such enthusiasm.”

The riders chatted to ward staff about their work and took note of the pleas for further assistance – promising to raise enough money to buy them a non-metallic scoop which can go into an MRI scanner. Ron Sayer, club chairman, said: “Rather than just putting money in a pot, we can see what is going to be useful and help them out.

“We want to buy equipment they wouldn’t necessarily be able to get from their usual budget.”

Aside from the charity aspect of the marathon ride, planned for August 29 – holiday Monday – the high-profile event brings bikers together and also helps change attitudes.

Mr Harrison said: “Generally there is a bad ambience surrounding motorcyclists and we want to change that image.

“There are an awful lot of motorcyclists out there and they are not all speed freaks.

“As it is most of our members are retired and simply like to get out and enjoy the countryside.”