Derbyshire Blood Bikes group picked up a £1000 donation from Gillotts Funeral Directors, in Abbott Street, Heanor, which raised the money through its annual Christmas appeal last year.

Mark Vallis, Derbyshire Blood Bikes co-ordinator, said: “Our group relies totally on fundraising and this is a significant amount of money for us, so naturally we’re extremely grateful to Gillotts for this very kind donation.

“All of our members give their time for free so all of this money will go to pay for our running costs, which will ensure that we can continue to offer a precious service to the NHS totally for free.”

Gillotts raised the money after inviting families who have lost loved ones to come into its Heanor office, as well as its four other premises, and hang messages of remembrance on Christmas trees erected in each office’s foyer during December.

The company donates £1 for each message left on the branches of its trees and raised £2,000 through its appeal, with the other £1,000 going to the Nottinghamshire’s Blood Bikes service.

Anthony Topley, a partner at Gillotts Funeral Directors, which also runs offices in Eastwood, Kimberley, Selston and Stapleford in Nottinghamshire, said: “The Derbyshire Blood Bikes carries out a vitally important service that saves the NHS thousands of pounds every year.

“It’s wonderful to think that every one of their riders and support staff are volunteers working in their spare time. Their public-mindedness is truly inspirational and we’re delighted to have raised so much money on their behalf.”