North East Ambulance Service recently joined in The Big Celebration for Volunteers Week to say an enormous thank you to the hundreds of volunteers that provide valuable support.
More than 300 volunteers support the services provided by North East Ambulance Service, adding to the valuable contribution made to the NHS nationally by an estimated three million volunteers.
50 volunteer porters helped 4000 patients by completing more than 27,500 hours supporting the service
170 Ambulance Car Service Drivers volunteered over 195,000 hours, completing over 165,000 patient journeys
100 volunteer community first responders supported the front line by working 1000 hours, attending to 1,269 patients
In recognition of their efforts, NEAS organised a special recognition event at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead to thank them.
Retired long distance lorry driver Alan Brumwell, who has volunteered as an ambulance car service driver for the last two and a half years, received an award as a result of a thank you from Rachel Owens and her 21-year-old daughter Ashleigh, who has a neurological condition.
The 67-year-old, of Wrekenton, said: “I wanted to give something back to the community and thought that it was brilliant that people were giving up their spare time to help people like my uncle get back and forward to their hospital appointments.
“It makes me feel good to know that I can help someone, make them feel comfortable and at ease. Meeting people like Rachel and Ashleigh make it all worthwhile.”
Yvonne Ormston, NEAS Chief Executive, said: “Our volunteers come from every part of the region from all walks of life. They volunteer for very different reasons but each and every one of them makes a real difference to the patients we serve every day, whether it’s as significant as saving someone’s life or, just as importantly, making a patient’s experience of our service a much more pleasant one.
“We thought being part of The Big Celebration for Volunteers Week was the perfect opportunity to thank them all for what they do and to let them know how valuable they are to us as a service.”