As we approach the end of the year, we thought that you’d be interested to hear what’s been happening in our team in 2010.
The team has grown from strength to strength. We now have seven Community First Responders (CFRs) based in Ettington, Pillerton Priors, Pillerton Hersey, Newbold-on-Stour and Alderminster. An 8th team member, based in Halford, is currently going through the induction process with West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS). We also have three non-CFR team members in key roles of Secretary, Treasurer and Scheme Coordinator (who coordinates with WMAS). These are instrumental roles in keeping the team functioning, fundraising and PR.
So far this year (Jan-Oct), we have attended 50 callouts in response to 999 calls for which WMAS have requested our assistance. We have attended a wide-range of medical emergencies which have called on the superb training that we receive from WMAS. During the year, our CFRs have undertaken a lot of further training in order to progress to ‘Intermediate’ level with WMAS. This is a big commitment in time and involves a practical and theoretical assessment.
In March, we were delighted that three of our team members received ‘First Responder of the Year’ Awards from WMAS; a recognition of the achievement of the whole team since the Scheme was formed in June 2009. We have also received substantial local media coverage; you can see some of this on our website and on our Facebook group.
The Scheme is entirely funded by donations and so, in addition to our primary role of medical care, we have spent a substantial amount of time this year fundraising. To give you some idea of the cost of running the team, our average annual expenditure is around £5,000. It’s important to emphasise that, although we are entitled Ettington CFR Scheme, we operate across a range of villages including Newbold-on-Stour, the Pillertons, Halford, Alderminster, Fulready, Armscote and Tredington. In addition to Ettington, we have received tremendous fundraising support from villagers, Parish Councils and local businesses across many of these villages. We have been particularly touched by personal donations made by villagers; some of whom we have assisted during medical emergencies. A major source of funding resulted from our successful application to the Big Lottery in March. Thanks are due to Marie, our ex-Treasurer, for her hard work in securing this.
In July, we held our first AGM. This was an opportunity for us to explain to villagers across our coverage area how the Scheme is progressing, to share some statistics about our callouts and to explain how we have spent our funds. Importantly, it was also an opportunity for villagers to ask any questions. We were grateful to Ian Inglesant, a senior Paramedic Officer at WMAS who coordinates CFR Schemes in Coventry and Warwickshire, for not only attending but for speaking so highly of the team and its value to WMAS.
In October, we reached another major milestone by successfully being granted Charity Status by HMRC. This followed a huge amount of work by our Secretary and Treasurers (former and current). This is particularly significant as it means that donations are eligible for Gift Aid which increases their value to the Scheme.
You can find out more about what we do, our activities in 2010, and our fundraising supporters on our website: www.ettingtoncfr.org.uk We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved but we couldn’t have done any of this without you. We want to thank you for your tremendous support this year; your generosity has been outstanding. Please continue to support us in 2011. Finally, we’d like to wish you a very Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.