Ambulance service celebrates thousands of hours of volunteering at annual awards

6th June 2024

Over 380 North East residents volunteer their spare time to support North East Ambulance (NEAS) Service patients and employees were recognised last night (Wednesday 5 June) at a ceremony at the Royal Station Hotel, Newcastle, organised by NEAS.

Over the last 12 months, NEAS volunteers have dedicated thousands of hours of their time to support the service. This included community first responders who have volunteered over 41,000 hours and over 84,000 patients have been transported to non-urgent appointments by our ambulance car service drivers.

The celebrations are part of a week-long campaign to celebrate the nationally recognised Volunteers Week (3-9 June), including community first responders, ambulance care service drivers, and porters. 

Among those who attended were 47 volunteers from across the service who have celebrated service of two years or more, including two ambulance car drivers, James Kidd and William Stainsby who have reached over 20 years and Paul Temperley who has reached 25 years of volunteering and helping those in need.

The volunteer cohort are made up of four unique roles which benefit the service in several ways:

  • 112 community first responders who are based across the region and are trained to deal with emergencies prior to the arrival of an ambulance; over the last year they have attended over 1,850 incidents and have collectively volunteered over 41,000 hours for the service in 2023/24 equates to 1,715 days and respond to serious emergencies such as cardiac arrests.
  • 123 ambulance car service drivers who in the past year alone have transported over 84,000 patients and have travelled over 3.1million miles using their own vehicles to drive patients to and from appointments at hospital, which helps keep ambulances free for emergencies and patients who are too poorly to travel by car. 
  • 18 hospital porters who work across the regions hospitals and are the first point of contact for non-life-threatening patients once they arrive at hospital; allowing ambulance crews to get back on the road and respond to more emergencies.
  • 128 community ambassadors who work alongside our engagement team and within their local communities to raise awareness of our services and life-saving skills like CPR; this work includes hosting CPR and defibrillator sessions to increase the general public’s knowledge of bystander CPR.
  • The Council is made up of 21 public governors (six in North of Tyne, five in South of Tyne, five in Durham and five in Teesside), five staff governors, plus nine appointed governors. Our governors play a vital role in reviewing the performance of our Board and the contribution our service makes to the wider health and care system, providing an essential link to the communities we serve.

NEAS chief operating officer, Stephen Segasby said: “Working as hard as ever, over the last year our volunteers have provided incredible support for the service and dedicated care for a number of our patients across the region, and it is an honour to be able to recognise and thank them for this. 

“It is exceptional that two of our volunteers celebrated 20 years’ service with us and one volunteer reaching a 25-year milestone. The commitment they give to NEAS, and the patients and communicates we serve is exceptional and they do it selflessly and in their own time. I cannot thank them and our volunteer's team enough for the work they have done, and that they continue to do.”

Find out how you can volunteer with NEAS here: