Volunteers are thanked by North East Ambulance Service

The North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) is dedicating this week to thank the volunteers who have stepped up to support it during the Covid-19 pandemic.

National Volunteers' Week takes place from the 1 - 7 June every year, providing a chance to say thank you for the contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK.

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, NEAS called upon the general public to come forward to help it continue to provide the best possible service to the North East – and the public did not disappoint. Overall, 2,400 people answered the call to become a volunteer as part of the Trust’s Covid-19 effort. Of those, 185 people were chosen to begin training.

They’re supporting NEAS in the following ways:

  • Driving and cleaning patient transport vehicles
  • Sorting and delivering equipment and personal protective equipment to staff

The Trust’s volunteer development team, training team and HR teams have all worked together to get the new recruits through their two days induction, DBS checks and driver training as well as supplying them with important PPE.

Deputy chief executive, Paul Liversidge, who oversees the Trust’s volunteers, said: “We have an army of volunteers, who regularly support us as volunteer drivers, porters and community first responders. However, due to the risks posed by the virus, we have had to stand down our porters and our community first responders are currently only able to support us as part of our falls team.

“Our ambulance car service (ACS) drivers have continued where possible to operate but, with many shielding as part of lockdown measures, we have a reduced number of volunteers who are able to support us. The ACS drivers who are able to continue to volunteer have been amazing, making themselves more and for longer to ensure we’re able to support our patients who require life-saving chemotherapy and dialysis treatment.

“And I would especially like to thank the thousands of people who answered our call for help. We are overwhelmed by all the offers, although we were only able to accept a small number of them, it was humbling to see so many people step forward to support their local NHS.

“Overall, the volunteers who have supported us – together with the teams helping them – have all gone above and beyond in what is a very challenging environment to help us deliver the best possible care to our patients and staff and, on behalf of North East Ambulance, I would like to thank them for their support.”

Throughout the week, we will be sharing stories about some of the amazing and selfless people who are volunteering to help NEAS on the frontline.

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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