THE Mayor of Wrexham has provided a life-saving volunteer service with a new bike - named after his own dog.

Blood Bikes Wales can now deliver more blood thanks to the donation of a new bike bought with the proceeds of fundraising by Garden Village Councillor Andy Williams during his year as mayor.

Cllr Williams said he was inspired to make the donation after learning that the service was voluntary, and made it one of his chosen charities for the mayoral year.

He says the bike is named after his therapy dog Buddi, who he takes into Wrexham Maelor Hospital to help patients and staff on various wards - including those who have blood taken.

"About three years ago I got my dog Buddi registered as a therapy dog and originally started going to Nightingale House", he said.

"This soon developed to visiting the Maelor, on wards such as intensive care, A and E, and the children's ward.

"Buddi sits with children who are having their bloods taken and are maybe scared of needles, so they can stroke him and take their mind off it.

"He has his own Facebook page with more than 1,000 followers.

"It's an easy link - Buddi sits with people having their blood taken - and then some of that blood the other Buddi takes to where its needed."

He added: "Last year I was invited to a blood bikes event by Chris Jones who I've known for 25 years and was blown away by what they do. I thought it was the NHS but it's completely voluntary.

"I set about to raise £15,000 but ended up raising £30,000 through events like the Mayor's Ball.

"Buddi the blood bike cost £14,000 but I've been told that over five years of service it will save the NHS £600,000 which is incredible."

Chris Jones, the Blood Bikes area representative said: "It's phenomenal for us to get this bike and it makes a big difference.

"We're now going to give Andy the chance to follow Buddi as we collect blood and transport it to the hospital."

Other charities which will benefit from Cllr Williams' fundraising during his year as mayor are the Welsh Air Ambulance, Nightingale House, Wrexham First Responders, and the Katie Piper Fund.

A defibrillator is also going to be installed in Garden Village with free CPR lessons available for residents to learn how to use it.