Ambulance service volunteers recognised in awards ceremony

The North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) celebrated the hard work and dedication of hundreds of volunteers who have supported the region’s patients throughout the years at their annual volunteer’s awards.

Over 250 North East residents who volunteer their spare time to support North East Ambulance Service patients and employees were recognised last night (Wednesday 7 June) at a ceremony at the Royal Station Hotel, Newcastle, organised by the NHS Foundation Trust.   

The celebrations concluded a week-long campaign to celebrate the nationally recognised Volunteers Week (1-7 June) and recruit for more 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 extraordinary people (ambulance car service drivers John Buxton and Ronald McPartland) who have each volunteered for over 15 years helping those in need.  Also in attendance were two community ambassadors from our community outreach projects. 

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

  • 108 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 576 incidents and have collectively volunteered over 47,000 hours for the service in 2022/23, and respond to serious emergencies such as cardiac arrests 

  • 129 ambulance car service drivers who in the past year alone have transported over 90,000 patients and have travelled over 3.5million 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. 

  • 19 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  

  • 104 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 

NEAS chief executive officer, Helen Ray, said: “It isn’t often that we get to celebrate the achievements of our volunteers; two of whom this year are celebrating 15 years of voluntary service to our organisation. Working as hard as ever, over the last year they have provided life-changing 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. 

“Volunteer’s Week has highlighted only a small percentage of the work that these incredible people do; 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: /get-involved/volunteering-opportunities.aspx  

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