Birmingham 2022 is almost here and Lorraine Gough, Customer Planning Advisor in Severn Trent Services will be one of the Commonwealth Games Batonbearers.
As the chairwoman for a blood bike charity, a Birmingham resident, and a Severn Trent Services employee – Lorraine says she’ll carry the Queen’s Baton with pride on 25 July.
Batonbearers are often selected for the inspirational work they do within their communities. They’re required to carry the Queen’s Baton for a section of the relay route which begins in London and spans the country before arriving in the West Midlands for the start of the Commonwealth Games.
Recognition for providing a valuable service to the West Midlands
Lorraine was nominated to be a Batonbearer by a fellow volunteer at Midland Freewheelers who wanted to shine a light on the incredible work Lorraine does for the region.
Midland Freewheelers is a charity of 120 volunteers that transports – on bikes – blood, breast milk, drugs, medical equipment, pathology samples, and patient notes across the West Midlands.
Lorraine explains: “We’ve just been asked by a local hospital to provide a service whereby we transport brain tumour samples via our bikes – while the patient is still in theatre – to be tested in real-time at another location.
“If our charity didn’t exist, a member of hospital staff would have to get an expensive taxi across town, leaving the medical team one man down. The service we provide is funded by donations and free to the NHS.
“I’m so proud of the important work we do for the region. Being selected to be a Batonbearer on top of this is the icing on the cake. A complete honour! It’s not just recognition for me, but an opportunity to promote the charity too.”
As the charity chairwoman, Lorraine spends almost all her spare time volunteering. This is over and above her day job where she schedules water and wastewater engineering work for the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) contract.
She says: “I live and breathe the charity. As does my husband Geoff, who’s a rider and a fundraising manager.
“When I’m not working for Severn Trent Services, you’ll often see me collecting money outside supermarkets, running and attending events where we promote the charity, delivering cheque presentations to fundraisers, or doing talks to promote the fantastic work we do.”
Getting ready to carry the Queen’s Baton
Lorraine is now waiting to hear exactly where – and for how long – she’ll be carrying the Queen’s Baton for. Her Severn Trent Services colleagues are eager to know this information too, so they can spur her along on the day. Although she has received the tracksuit she’ll be required to wear.
Severn Trent has partnered with Birmingham 2022 and is an Official Nature & Carbon Neutral Supporter.
Lorraine adds: “I think it’s brilliant that the Commonwealth Games is in Brum and Severn Trent is a big part of this momentous event. Birmingham is a fantastic city that often gets passed over.
“Now that Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture has come to an end, it’s an opportunity to draw even more attention to the Midlands and show how great the region really is!”