A FATHER and daughter from Basingstoke have raised hundreds of pounds for a charity close to their hearts.

Si Lewis and his 15-year-old daughter Lauren took part in the Croudace Homes Festival 5k run to raise awareness and funds for SERV Wessex, a charity which provides a free out of hours transportation service for NHS hospitals in the area.

Mr Lewis, of Porter Road, Brighton Hill, began volunteering for the charity after he was involved in a serious near-death crash on his motorcycle in 1989, which was not his fault, and spent four months in and out of hospital having his head rebuilt.

The 45-year-old self-employed chauffeur said: “The hospitals and NHS looked after me very well during my treatment and rehabilitation and this is my way of saying thank you to them, as our charity saves the NHS a fortune by providing them with a free out of hours transport service instead of paying for taxis and couriers. I also get to ride my motorbike which is another bonus.”

He added: “We work with the Hants and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, replenishing blood stocks to enable them to carry out roadside transfusions, saving lives.”

Mr Lewis and his daughter took part in the event wearing their Hi-Viz blood jackets to raise awareness of the charity.

The race saw participants run around Festival Place shopping centre, Basing View and Eastrop.

Mr Lewis said: “The medical crews and police around the course instantly recognised the jackets and gave Lauren and I a good cheer and we received plenty of encouragement from the crowd.”

The pair raised £317.50 for SERV Wessex which will help it continue delivering life-saving blood to save lives in Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire.

Visit servwessex.org.uk/.