Our new community ambassadors

Ambulance service recruits community ambassadors

Members of the public representing ethnic communities in the region have volunteered to be ambassadors for the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS).

The NHS Foundation Trust is engaging with the communities more closely to share more knowledge about the service, build community links and attract new recruits.

Sixteen people have now attended training sessions with the Trust from Sunderland Bangladeshi International Centre, African Association New Horizons, Black, Asian and minority ethnic women’s group NUR Fitness, and the Sunderland International Community Organisation.

The project has been set up with a view to share more information at a community level on:

Availability of interpreters for all calls to 999 and 111;

• making 999 calls for life-threatening emergencies, raising awareness of the triage system and how incidents are prioritised;

 when to use the service 111 - for urgent health advice support and referral to other services;

 recruitment and volunteering opportunities as well as the benefits of working for or with the Trust;

 board membership opportunities; and

 how to get involved with the service and give feedback on its services.

NEAS engagement manager Mark Johns said:  “People from ethnic communities are less likely to use our services and are not well represented in our workforce.

“Positive initiatives such as directly engaging with community organisations will help us to reach people who may not know about our service.

“The ambassadors will make a real difference in their local communities and help us spread the word about how people can access our services as well as boost the diversity of our workforce.”

Alena Majid of NUR Fitness added:  “It’s a great chance for people from the BAME community to get involved in this project as everyone uses the service.  We know that the BAME community has so many strengths and I think they’ll be an asset to the NEAS.”

Rehena Sultana of the Sunderland international Centre, said: “The training I’ve received to become an ambassador will greatly help me to provide support and information to the people I will be working with.

“I’ve become an ambassador as I want to help the community I work with.”

To find out more, visit www.neas.nhs.uk/get-involved

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