New blood bike unveiled in memory of Joanne Harris

By Sue Austin | Shrewsbury | News | Published:

A new blood bike for the region was unveiled this weekend, named after a young woman whose parents helped get the charity off the ground.

Jo’s parents Mike and Marion Harris and aunt Viv McCarthy with Blood Bikes’ Brian Smith

A £12,000 donation from the parents of Joanne Harris in memory of their daughter bought two of the first Blood Bikes in 2004.

Now retired, the bikes have been replaced with a new one, named Jo to keep her name living on.

WATCH and learn more about the Blood Bikes:

Blood Bike launched in rememberance of Jo

Jo Harris, from Shrewsbury, was born with Down’s Syndrome and became one of the first children in the town with the condition to join a mainstream class at school and shine in her local Brownie Pack.

She hit the national headlines when the first Big Brother winner, Craig Phillips, gave his £70,000 prize to her appeal, A Heart for Jo, to have a lifesaving transplant in America.

However Jo died at the age of 24 in April 2008 before she could have the operation and her fund was split between several charities including the Blood Bikes.

Jo was aged 24 when she died


On Saturday Blood Bike volunteers from across Shropshire, Cheshire and Staffordshire, travelled to the Red Castle in Harmer Hill to see the new bike, Jo, unveiled by parents, Mike and Marion Harris.

Lynne Stone from the charity said the money for the new bike was donated by the Morrisons Foundation, from the sale of plastic bags sold in their store.

"We wanted to retain Jo's name as the money her parents gave really helped us to establish the Blood Bikes."

The first Blood Bikes were bought in 2004


Working with the NHS, volunteers for the charity carry urgent blood supplies, plasma, samples and now even babies' milk, usually between hospitals.

Mrs Harris from Chirbury said: "This is a wonderful charity and we are so very proud that Jo's name is associated with it.

To name the new bike after our daughter is such a wonderful tribute. We are so pleased that we helped to get the Blood Bikes off the ground and we would like to do more fundraising in the future."

Volunteer Ray Broad said the first two bikes, named Joanne and Jo, had covered thousands of miles.

"There were former military police bikes and did us proud," he added.

"When they were retired we wanted Jo's name to be carried on."

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.


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