A GROUP of volunteers that work around the clock supporting the health service have been honoured by the Queen.

Merseyside and Cheshire Blood Bikes (MCBB) received the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Made up of 122 people, the group support the health service by transporting blood, organs, tissue samples and breast milk to and from several hospitals within Liverpool and Cheshire.

The group's members all have their own jobs, commitments and families - but in their spare time they pull on their Hi-viz jackets to help provide a service to the NHS, saving them hundreds of thousands of pounds a year.

They support the NHS, its staff and patients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Their work and the impact of what they deliver is felt across country.

Working with hospitals such as Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Marie Curie, Whiston Hospital and Warrington General, the team of volunteers spends their free time answering calls and dispatching riders.

Making crucial 'relay runs' with neighbouring Blood Bike groups, they have helped deliver vital blood to not only Merseyside and Cheshire, but to Birmingham and South Wales too.

Merseyside and Cheshire Blood Bikes are one of few charities where no one is paid.

Every penny raised is put to use helping to keep charity moving.

Representatives from MCBB attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May, along with other recipients of this year's Award.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities.

It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Winners are announced each year on June 2 – the anniversary of the Queen's Coronation.

Award winners this year include volunteers helping people overcome mental health problems through sport, volunteers using caravans as mobile cafe/information centres in geographically remote locations and another group mentoring children who have a parent in prison.

On August 2 MCBB attended a private ceremony conducted by the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, who presented the volunteers with the prestigious award.

Simon Dennett, chairman of the MCBB said: "This award has brought a very much deserved boost to our members, their dedication and commitment without hope of reward is humbling to witness.

"Their passion in the service we deliver have been recognised by her Majesty.

"The entire group is bursting with pride and we look forward to the recognition which accompanies it."

Without the support of every day people and businesses they would be unable to continue their work.

This charity relies solely on donations to help change people's lives.

MCBB are currently undergoing a website and social media facelift, however should you wish to find out more about the Charity and how you can help support contact Rebecca.lee-hagger@mcbloodbikes.org