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Volunteer ambulance crew enhances training with Power NI support

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Antrim’s St John Ambulance unit is developing its training assets courtesy of a recent £1000 Power NI Brighter Communities funding award.

Headquartered at a new base in Antrim’s The Junction shopping complex, the grant has enabled the voluntary organisation to purchase two new televisions and a sound bar to set up separate volunteer training rooms as well as installing a sat nav in the crew ambulance.

Full-time Paramedic and volunteer trainer Trish Brady explains:
“Power NI funding has made a huge impact on our unit. With social distancing rules in place, we required two televisions which could be set up in different training rooms allowing us to continue with vital support and training for our volunteers throughout lockdown restrictions.

“With increasing pressures on the NHS and existing ambulance services, our role has never been more crucial and it’s important that our team members are regularly upskilled.

“Two years ago, we only had six or seven volunteers and today our unit comprises over 50 members, all of whom avail of regular training and professional development courses.

“The St John Ambulance training programme includes essential and advanced first aid, emergency response ambulance driving and patient care services.

“As St John Ambulance relies totally on donations and other income generation methods to survive, this £1000 grant is particularly welcome. With the global pandemic there is an increasing need for our services across the region.”

The volunteer ambulance group is one of ten across Northern Ireland to receive the funding as part of a Brighter Communities £10K programme roll-out launched during the latter part of 2020.

Power NI which this year marks its 90th anniversary, first introduced the Brighter Communities initiative back in April 2018. Since then, it has supported a huge range of bespoke groups and clubs from wheelchair basketball, beekeepers, vintage cyclists and young cheerleaders to street soccer, dragon racers, Early Years and stroke recovery groups.

Congratulating Trish and all the volunteers at St John Ambulance Antrim, Gemma-Louise Bond, Senior Sponsorship & Events Executive at Power NI said:

“It’s been inspirational meeting Trish and learning about the amazing contribution the St John Ambulance team makes as first responders and how they support our fantastic NHS medical and ambulance teams. With the continuing impact of COVID-19 their work is hugely necessary to safeguard lives.”

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