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Gloucestershire ambulance volunteers honoured

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Volunteer Community First responders from the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) were presented with commemorative Coronation medals or coins by Peter Philips, son of HRH The Princess Royal, in Stroud last week, as part of Volunteers’ Week.

The event, held at Masonic Hall in Stroud, was to thank the 90 local volunteers, for dedicating their spare time to supporting the ambulance service and providing emergency care within their local community.

During the event Peter Philips awarded 60 volunteers with a Coronation medal or coin.

Zoe Larter and Peter Phillips | Gloucestershire ambulance volunteers honoured
Zoe Larter, Head of Charity talks Peter Phillips through the purpose and benefits of the Community Response Vehicles.

Mr Phillips was also shown one of the six SWASFT community response vehicles, that has been purchased through the South Western Ambulance Charity, with a grant from NHS Charities Together.

The cars have made a huge difference to SWASFT volunteers. In one year across Gloucestershire the community response vehicle has notched up 2,750 hours of service and helped 700 patients.

Jane Whichello, Head of Volunteering and Community Services, at the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are always looking to recognise and celebrate the great work our volunteers do across the whole Trust.

“Combining a Volunteers’ Week event in Gloucestershire, to recognise them, plus the opportunity to present them with Coronation medals and coins was a perfect way to do that.

“We would like to thank Mr Phillips for attending our event and for learning more about the vital work of our volunteers.”

Patient-facing volunteers play a vital role in helping the region’s ambulance service to respond to 999 calls and deliver emergency care to patients, often ahead of an ambulance arriving on scene. In Gloucestershire volunteers this year have given over 25,500 hours service and helped over 3,100 patients.

To find out about volunteering roles at the Trust and to express an interest, please visit – https://www.swast.nhs.uk/community-first-responders

To volunteer for SWASFT, you do not need any clinical qualifications, as training and on-going support is provided, plus all equipment and uniform. The Trust asks that you commit to a minimum of 12 hours per week.

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