Volunteers at Cottesmore Cafe Church help Blood Bikes

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Generous fundraisers cooked up a record breaking £700 to help boost the work of a lifesaving charity.

Staff at the volunteer run Cafe Church, in Cottesmore, raised the sum with a series of lunches in St Nicholas’ Church.

The group holds monthly lunches through the year with donations asked for.

In the six weeks before Lent, though, they are held weekly with a £3 charge and this led to the £700.

It was given to the Leicestershire and Rutland Blood Bikes team. It carries blood and medical equipment between hospitals to save NHS costs and services.

Pam Laverick, 78, of the church group, based in Main Street, said: “We give to different charities each year. Someone saw something about the Blood Bikes .

“They were really enthusiastic about it so we decided to do it for them.

“When we told them we had got £700 they were thrilled and so were we.

“This is the most we have ever raised for a charity.”

Paul and Elaine Bivings, of the Blood Bikes group, accepted the money.

Paul, 64, said: “We could not run without fundraisers helping us.

“It is fantastic that they have raised so much as it costs us £1,000 a month to keep going.”

The Leicestershire Blood Bikes team has about 40 riders plus backroom staff.

Cafe regular Tommy Coggan, 88, of Cottesmore, handed over the cash, saying: “They worked really hard and I think it’s a wonderful