Ambulance Service celebrates Volunteers’ Week | News

Ambulance Service celebrates Volunteers’ Week

This Volunteers’ Week, the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT), is celebrating the 600 plus volunteers, who dedicate their spare time to supporting the service and providing emergency care within their local community. 

SWASFT volunteers operate in patient and non-patient facing roles across the South West, including:

  • Over 600 Community First Responders (CFRs)
  • 35 British Association for Immediate Care (BASICS) Doctors


In addition, volunteers support ambulance crews, by moving Trust vehicles between sites. In the last three months, volunteers have moved over 100 ambulances across the south west. 

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 the last financial year, they responded to over 22,500 calls across the region.

The work of volunteers such as CFRs, who operate within their local area, is varied, from sharing a cup of tea and a chat with a patient, to providing CPR and saving someone’s life.

The Trust is also supported by 35 BASICS Responders who are experienced pre-hospital doctors who give their time to attend some of our most critically unwell patients within their local community.

Jane Whichello, Head of Volunteering and Community Services, at the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Volunteers’ Week is a great opportunity for all of us to recognise the value of our volunteers and the difference they make to people's lives and their communities.

“I am honoured to lead such a talented and dedicated team here at SWASFT. Our volunteers play such an important role in the service we provide to patients, and I would like to thank every one of them for their support.  With our team of volunteers at our side, SWASFT can continue to deliver the very best care possible for patients.

“Volunteering is a great opportunity to meet new people and learn valuable lifesaving skills through the training and ongoing support from the dedicated volunteering support team. If you would like to learn more about what you can do to make a difference, why not visit our website and socials to find out more." 

To find out about volunteering roles at the Trust and to express an interest, please visit - Volunteer Recruitment | SWAST Website

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. 

Volunteers’ Week celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. The national week is a chance to recognise, celebrate and thank the UK’s incredible volunteers for all they contribute to local communities, the voluntary sector, and society as a whole.

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