Life-saving Linda receives Royal invite

Linda Darby, Stalham and Smallburgh CFR co-ordinator.
Life-saving Linda receives Royal invite
07 March 2016

A life-saver has spoken of her delight after receiving a Royal Garden Party invitation in recognition of more than 10 years volunteer work.

Linda Darby, 49, became a community first responder in 2005 and has been co-ordinator of the Stalham and Smallburgh Community First Responder (CFR) group in Norfolk for the last seven years.

Linda, who received a 10 years’ volunteer service award from the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) last year, will attend the Royal event in May. Her partner Mervyn Hardingham has also volunteered for the group for more than 10 years.

She said: “I used to belong to St John Ambulance and I saw a sign about CFRs in 2005 and it started from there. I’ve lost count the number of hours I have volunteered! The best bit is helping people in the community where you live. There are people living today because of what we have done for them.”

“I was a bit apprehensive when I got the garden party invitation, but I’m looking forward to it. It is a once in a lifetime thing to go to.”

Community first responders are trained to perform basic life support and attend 999 calls such as cardiac arrests, diabetes emergencies and people who are choking, having a seizure or suffering from breathing problems and chest pain. Because they are responding to emergencies in their communities, they often are first on scene before the arrival of an ambulance or rapid response vehicle.

Stalham and Smallburgh CFRs attend calls as far as Bacton, Hoveton, Ludham, Potter Heigham, Sutton, Catfield and Hickling. The group has seven active volunteers.

For more information about getting involved, visit: or email

East of England Ambulance Headquarters
Whiting Way
Sat Nav postcode SG8 6NA