Volunteers honoured for work with ambulance service
Dozens of volunteers have been honoured for their work with the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS).
A total of 69 volunteers – including community first responders (CFR), ambulance car service drivers (ACS) and hospital porters – have been recognised in annual awards.
This year’s awards ceremony commended the dedication and commitment of individual volunteers that have been an instrumental support to the ambulance service.
NEAS acting chief operating officer Victoria Court said, “The service values the support of all its volunteers and in the last year, some volunteers have been issued with new equipment and uniform.
“ACS drivers have had breakaway training and enhanced annual training in everything from equality and diversity, to data security and health and safety.
“CFRs have had training for non-injury fallers and how to help keep patients safe, as well as assisting clinicians in the emergency control room into decision making.”
Among those honoured were ACS driver George Hall for going above and beyond.
The 57-year-old from Ashington has been volunteering for NEAS for the last seven years.
George, a retired psychiatric nurse where he worked for eight years at St George's Hospital in Morpeth before leaving in 1987 to join Northumbria Police, chose to volunteer as he had always worked in the public sector.
George said there are many things about the role that he finds rewarding, including someone saying 'thank you', and taking great pride in knowing that he has helped many patients who would have struggled to get to hospital without the service.
Alex Marshall, a hospital porter, received outstanding appreciation for exceptional service whilst volunteering.
The 28-year-old, from Seaton Deleval, has committed his time to volunteering for the last year despite being autistic.
Alex chose to volunteer as a hospital porter at the RVI after the NHS helped members of his family, including after his dad had emergency heart surgery.
He said the best thing about his role is helping people and chatting to them to take their mind off any worries they might have with their appointments while being a volunteer makes him feel useful.
For more about volunteering for the North East Ambulance Service visit www.neas.nhs.uk/get-involved/volunteering-opportunities.aspx