'Incredible' group of volunteers for the South Central Ambulance Service nominated for national award
AN ‘INCREDIBLE’ group of volunteers working across Hampshire and the south have been nominated for a national award.
South Central Ambulance Service and South Central Ambulance Charity’s volunteer responders have been shortlisted for Outstanding Volunteering Team of the Year at the Helpforce Champions Awards 2021.
They are being recognised for their contribution to healthcare amid the challenges of Covid-19.
The 1,200-strong team of volunteer responders are members of the public trained to support the ambulance service primarily by attending medical emergencies and sometimes providing lifesaving first aid to patients before paramedics arrive.
They also assist with ongoing patient care at the scene and attend more than 30,000 incidents every year. They are funded solely by South Central Ambulance Charity, which provides equipment, training and is responsible for the vehicle fleet of 51.
Vanessa Casey, chief executive of South Central Ambulance Charity, said: ‘Our community first responders (CFR) have weathered every storm this year and still come out in strength to provide essential emergency care for patients across our community.
‘With the support of Scas’ community engagement and training team and the charity, this incredible group has enabled us to reach even more patients, treat and leave even more patients in their own homes and supported the welfare of elderly and vulnerable patients by responding to non-injury falls and concern for welfare calls.
‘These “ordinary” people take on an extraordinary role in their community and, without them, the demand on the ambulance service would be even greater.’
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CFRs volunteer in their spare time – providing a minimum of 20 hours a month each – and cover a population of more than four million across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire.
Ms Casey added: ‘We are incredibly proud of these volunteers who give so much to support their communities and to help others.
‘Together as volunteers, an NHS Charity and an NHS Trust we are one team providing an excellent emergency service to patients across four counties and we would be so much less without our volunteers.’
During the pandemic CFRs also took on new roles such as introducing teapot refreshment vehicles to provide staff with hot drinks while waiting with patients at emergency departments, and volunteered in the control room and headquarters to dispatch other CFRs.
Winners will be announced on October 30.