Spike in interest from future volunteer life-savers following successful National Volunteers’ Week celebrations

Date: 15 June 2017

Brightlingsea CFR 20 year celebration event.

Following a successful National Volunteers’ Week 2017 (1st-7th June), we have seen an incredible 360% spike in community first responder (CFR) registrations of interest.

In the weeks prior to National Volunteers’ Week, we received on average nine registrations of interest compared with 42 following this year’s celebrations.

Currently we have close to 999 CFRs that make up almost 300 groups across our region who are trained by us to respond to medical emergencies in the area where they live or work. Their aim is to reach a potential life threatening emergency in the first vital minutes before the ambulance crew arrives.

We are also proud to support 140 car drivers who take patients to and from routine appointments, providing a vital service to local community members who are unable to transport themselves.

Our Trust User Group (TUG) is an independent group of volunteers from around the region who help us identify ways of improving services and support us with a range of activities.

Chaplains also play an integral part within the Trust offering pastoral, emotional and spiritual support to all levels of staff and volunteers regardless of their faith, belief or none.

During the Volunteer’s Week celebrations, we ran a CFR takeover week (w/c 5th June), which included a celebration event for our Brightlingsea CFR group who on 10th June celebrated 20 years of dedicated service to their community. We also ran cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) workshops in the high streets of Bedford and Norfolk, and unveiled another lifesaving defibrillator (AED) in Kedington.

Our volunteers provide a vital contribution towards helping patients in their communities. And their efforts don’t go unnoticed, with community members actively contacting us to pass on their gratitude:

"The driver is so kind and helpful. A very good man. He makes me happy when I am worried. I wish all people were like him."

Likewise, there is a great sense of comradery and personal fulfilment felt by our volunteers:

Julie Lockhart, TUG member said: “It has been a pleasure to work with the Trust, although it can occasionally be challenging. I enjoy the work I do and find a lot of satisfaction in being involved”.

Simon Nourse, Halstead CFR said: “As a CFR I’m able to give something to our community…it’s a privilege to help those in need of help.”

David Scott, Essex CFR said: “I enjoy giving back after an illness in 2004 gave me a new outlook on life.”

Rachel Hillier, Diss CFR coordinator said: “I love the job and hope that I can continue to make a difference.”

Daniel Jacobs, Felixstowe CFR said: “It's knowing I'm part of an amazing team who make a positive difference.”

Following the conclusion of National Volunteers’ Week, we continues our focus on supporting and recognising our legion of volunteers with more events and reward programmes scheduled across the year.

For more information on the types of volunteering opportunities available at EEAST, please visit our webpage at: http://www.eastamb.nhs.uk/join-the-team/volunteering-and-volunteers.htm.

  • Summary:

    Following a successful National Volunteers’ Week 2017 (1st-7th June), we have seen an incredible 360% spike in community first responder (CFR) registrations of interest.