Call for first aid volunteers

Could you save a life or would you be ready to respond in an emergency?

If you would like to be someone who could be depended on in an crisis or even learn basic first aid skills, why not join up as a volunteer for the British Red Cross.

Our Lend us a Hand campaign – which aims to get more people volunteering – has drawn a big response from charities and community groups in the area and this week we are profiling the Red Cross which has branches in Matlock and Bakewell.

The charity offers first aid training courses and also provides first aid cover at thousands of public events each year.

Adele Gregory, event first aid coordinator in Derbyshire, said the charity’s ultimate goal was to see everyone trained in basic life-saving photos.

Adele, who is based at Red Cross House in Matlock Green, got involved with the charity three years ago.

She has seen first hand how important first aid skills are, from treating people at big events across the county to using land rovers to deliver medicine to patients during this year’s snowy weather.

She said: “It was a lifestyle change for me and I wanted to put something back in to the community.

“I started from scratch learning first aid and there was a lot to learn. It is a big commitment.”

She added: “The Red Cross want everyone to have a basic level of first aid so if someone was to collapse in the street you could help by doing things such as CPR and give basic help until further aid arrived.

“A huge amount of people sadly don’t make it simply because basic first aid wasn’t used.”

Members meet in Matlock on Monday from 7.15pm to 9pm and in Bakewell Town Hall every Tuesday from 7.30pm to 9pm.

The groups are made up of first aiders and ambulance crew as well as a team of First Responders at Matlock.

The Matlock group currently has 16 volunteers while Bakewell has 12.

They cover a range of events from small fetes such as Pilsley Carnival up to large scale events such as Chatsworth Country Fair and the Mychoone music festival.

Anyone over the age of 16 can volunteer with the charity and currently the Dales branches have a range of members aged from 16 to 84.

You do not need any previous first aid skills to become a volunteer.

The Red Cross provides full training and support needed to prepare for the volunteering role.

Adele said: “Volunteers do get so much out of it.

“We offer full training to Standard First Aid level and would welcome any new volunteers to bolster our thriving training centres.”

She added: “Helping people is very much in the nature of all the volunteers we have.

“A lot have been doing this for over 30 years.

“Once they get in to it they do stay and are committed to it for the rest of their lives.

“You have got to be interested in first aid in the first place and prepared to handle all manner of situations but you will learn vital skills that will be important in so many situations.”

Benefits of being an event first aid volunteer include getting full first aid training and learning life-saving skills, improving self-confidence, meeting new people and gaining a range of new skills to boost your CV.

For more informations or to get involved contact Adele Gregory at Red Cross House on 01629 582171 or email AGregory@redcross.org.uk

n If you would like to be featured in our Lend us a Hand campaign contact Julia Rodgerson on news@matlockmercury.co.uk or call 01629 762120.