Head of Health, Safety & Environment at HOCHTIEF (UK) in Swindon
At first glance, it may seem odd to see someone riding a motorcycle while wearing a reflective vest bearing the word “BLOOD” in big capital letters. But David Lowes is doing this to support a good cause. Lowes, a 42-year-old Welshman from Cardiff, is a member of the Blood Bikes Wales, a charitable organization that offers free medical courier services—and saves lives. The Blood Bikes’ mother organization, the Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes (NABB), which was founded in 1962, unites thousands of volunteers throughout the UK who race from hospital to hospital at night and on weekends and holidays to transport urgently needed medical materials, including blood, medicines, and special documents.
“Recently we’ve transported increased numbers of possible Covid-19 patients’ blood samples to the labs,” he says. Because courier services are expensive, this organization saves lots of money for the National Health Service—funds that can then be invested in medical equipment or personnel. It also has advantages for the bikers: They can pursue their passion, riding their motorcycles, with the gratifying feeling that they are doing something meaningful. Lowes, who has two children, is on call for a twelve-hour tour of duty three or four times a month.
He wants to be a role model for his sons, as his father was for him. Incidentally, his father was also a Safety Manager on construction sites, as David is today. He didn’t originally plan to walk in his father’s footsteps one day. David studied aerospace technology and later worked for a railroad company. But ultimately he was drawn to the major construction sites. In August 2019, he started working at HOCHTIEF (UK), where he and his team develop safety concepts for the workers. That makes him a potential lifesaver twice over, in his profession as well as in his private life.