On the face of it, it’s an unusual combination: a luxury Scottish savoury spread, motorbikes, and blood samples.
But next week the three will come together in a harmonious blend that’s as smooth as the pate it stems from.
To explain: Castle MacLellan has been making pâté with a taste of Scotland, such as chicken liver pâté with Scottish heather honey, or luxury Orkney crab terrine with lemon juice and mustard, for over 30 years in Kircudbright.
The company are part of the international Kavli Group, which is owned by the Kavli Trust, which reinvests a sizeable part of its profits in various good causes across the world.
But on January 26, a donation of £27,500 will be made a lot closer to home. Dumfries and Galloway Blood Bikes, which work to deliver blood and medical supplies in south-west Scotland, and is staffed entirely by a team of 80 volunteers, was chosen by the staff from Castle MacLellan to become a beneficiary.
The £27,000 donation will buy two new motorbikes, one of which has been named ‘Lady Mac’ in a nod to the history of Castle MacLellan, and to the family who built the actual Castle MacLellan in Kirkcudbright where the business is based.
The other will be called ‘Karen’ after Karen Barber, a good friend of the charity who passed away two years ago after being diagnosed with sarcoma.
On average, the Blood Bike fleet travels around 10,000 miles a month and has 39 qualified volunteer motorbike riders who provide a 24-hour service.
The new donation will bring the number of blood bikes operated by the charity to seven: with two based in Dumfries; one in Moffat; one in Dalbeattie; one in Stranraer; one in Annan; and the seventh used as required. The bikes, supplied by Yamaha UK, are specially adapted for blood bike use, with the addition of blue lights and plates for carrying samples.
The charity was set up by former police officer David Hook after his life was saved by the NHS following a road accident. David says: “This is a very rural part of the world and our average trip is around 150 miles so we cover a lot of ground. The work we do allows tests to be carried out faster, and results to be delivered more quickly, potentially saving lives in the process.
“It also allows patients who would have had to undergo long journeys to and from hospital while seriously ill to remain at home while we transport samples instead. The work we do has a really positive impact on local people and it is great that Castle MacLellan, a local business, has chosen to support what we do. Their donation will make a massive difference to our community.”
Paul Lewney, managing director of Kavli UK, which owns Castle MacLellan Foods, says: “We recognise that each of our sites and factories play an important role in their local community and that the staff there really understand the challenges faced by those communities, so every year each Kavli site is allocated funding to donate to a charity chosen by the staff.”