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Added on: 3rd April, 2020 by Orpington St John Ambulance
Volunteers from the Orpington Unit of St John Ambulance are stepping up and giving their time for free to help the NHS during these unprecedented times.
The volunteers from the Orpington St John Ambulance Unit will be joining other St John Ambulance volunteers from around the country to support the NHS and help relieve pressure on their services just as other St John Ambulance volunteers are doing the same.
From this weekend, 4 April 2020, volunteers from the Orpington Unit will be deploying to Emergency Departments in NHS Hospital to help support the Coronovirus response and provide medical care. Volunteers will also be crewing ambulances to support the local NHS ambulance trusts including the London Ambulance Service during this time of sustained unprecedented demand on their services. In the near future volunteers from the Unit will also be deploying to the Nightingale Hospital at the Excel Centre in East London to work with NHS staff, the British Army, and other volunteers. These volunteers on the frontline will be supported by many other volunteers in administrative and logistics roles ensuring the equipment and people are in the right place and the right time to provide help and relieve pressure on the NHS.
Volunteers have already been sorting equipment particularly face masks, aprons, and cleaning wipes for redistribution, and attending training ready for their roles.
The support that St John Ambulance is providing to the nation is the largest deployment of volunteers during peacetime for a sustained period, and has not been seen since the First and Second World Wars. It is 100 years ago this year that the Orpington Unit in its current form was founded out of the support provided to the Orpington community during World War One. Volunteers from Orpington staffed two VAD hospitals in Orpington and St Mary Cray, transported the wounded from Orpington Train Station, and manned ARP posts during the 4 years of war. Just like then volunteers are stepping up today.
However, the Charity needs your support, since the outbreak of the Coronovirus and the advice to stay at home, St John Ambulance has seen a dramatic decrease in their income due to not being able to provide first aid courses and because the events it normally covers have been postponed. On Wednesday 31 March 2020 the CEO of St John Ambulance, Martin Houghton-Brown gave evidence to Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee on the plight that so many charities are in at this time because of the Coronovirus and said that St John Ambulance would need £450,000 per week to continue supporting the NHS or by August 2020 it would need to take out high interest loans that would affect the ability of the Charity to continue to support the community both during and after the Coronovirus.
St John Ambulance and the Orpington Unit wants to continue to support the community, provide first aid cover at all its normal events including St Olaves Rugby, the Orpington Remembrance Parade, and Green St Green St Christophers Hospice Fayre, and be ready to provide first aid at any events after the lockdown is over. Therefore, can you help the Orpington Unit from the comfort of your own home by either:
- Make a donation at https://www.justgiving.com/team/OrpingtonSJAUnit
- Become a virtual fundraiser - we have loads of ideas on our website https://www.sja.org.uk/get-involved/donate-and-fundraise/virtual-events/?fbclid=IwAR2mbpSSW_J1ma7STHzko0whvdbOPmw3BTWL45hw8RdSSKxp5d8UFAIxYhk
Help us help the NHS and save lives. Every penny counts!