News

2020 - the Year for Volunteers
The biggest challenge we face is increasing our number of volunteers. Demand for our services continues to increase and on many months of the year we are at full stretch. We still have to turn down events at peak times so that we can be sure we can provide adequate cover. In 2020 we will be launching a major recruitment campaign - if you are over 16 years of age and interested in developing your skills and helping the community please contact us.

2019 - our busiest and most successful year to date
The last year has proved extremely busy for all our services and we must thank all our volunteers for their hard work and commitment. We trained 2,500 local people on our FREE community first aid courses including 712 children in local schools which means so many more people are now in a position to give life-saving first aid. Our workplace training for which we do charge a fee has seen a 68% increase in the number of candidates trained and we would like to thank businesses, schools and childcare organisations for using our services. All the profits made are ploughed back into our free services. 2019 also proved our busiest year in respect of providing first aid cover at events with 378 events covered compared to 366 in 2018. Our largest event to date was the European Juggling Convention held at Newark Showground in August which saw our volunteers provide 24-hour cover for 12 days for thousands of visitors from across Europe. Due to an increase in large events we have seen a 60% increase in the number of patients we have treated. We also hit our target of raising £30,000 for a new Mobile Treatment Unit. We have continued to invest in more equipment, have enhanced our storage facilities, computerised our stores operations and developed our training. In 2020 we plan to improve our services by upgrading equipment and developing the skills of our volunteers.

Mobile First Aid Unit/Ambulance
In January 2019 we launched our Appeal for a new Mobile First Aid Unit. We needed to raise £30,000 to add to £30,000 we had saved for the purchase. During the year we are very grateful to have received support from so many people and organisations. We must thank the National Lottery Community Fund that donated £8,000 and the Thomas Farr Charity and JN Derbyshire Trust that both made donations of £2,000. Local stores such as Morrisons and ASDA allowed us collections that raised £1,500 and the ASDA Foundation made a £500 donation. The new vehicle is a Renault Master Baus AT ambulance conversion - the conversion has been done in Poland. The vehicle will be nearly identical to our Mobile First Aid Unit purchased in 2017. It is being supplied by Specialised Vehicle Sales from Basildon in Essex, the vehicle will be in operation in January 2020.

Christmas Raffle 2019
We are very grateful for the support of the thousands of people who purchased our Christmas Raffle tickets. As well as people from the Newark area many visitors to events in Newark took part in the raffle and we are delighted to say we raised £8,873:00. All the funds raised have gone towards purchasing a brand new £60,000 Mobile First Aid/Ambulance Unit for use in Newark and the surrounding area. The Unit will provide warm, hygienic and private facilities for the assessment and treatment of patients. The top 3 prize winners were: 1st Prize - Mr Khan (Essex), 2nd Prize - Mrs Thickett (Lincolnshire), 3rd Prize - Mr Scallion (Nottinghamshire).

Mental Health & Awareness Training
Over the past few years we have seen an increase in the number of mental health incidents our volunteers are dealing with. This is particularly noticeable at events that we cover that last 3 or more days. In early 2019 some of our team completed the 2-day Mental Health First Aid course and 20 attended Mental Health Awareness Training. During the year the training has proved invaluable as our first aiders dealt with an attempted suicide and a range of issues including anxiety, depression and substance misuse. We are pleased to have been able to help and offer advice. In 2020 we will continue to develop mental health training for our volunteers. We also hope to be able to offer Mental Health First Aid training to local businesses as part of our workplace set of courses in 2020.