Compassionate Derbyshire volunteer swaps Christmas dinner for community care this Christmas

Compassionate Derbyshire volunteer swaps Christmas dinner for community care this Christmas

Linda Dutton stood in uniform smiling with hands behind back. background is outside greenery.

Linda Dutton from Tissington in Derbyshire, will miss out on Christmas Day with her dad this year as she’s kindly volunteered for duty in her role as a Community First Responder (CFR).

Horse-loving Linda, 44, is one of EMAS’s most committed CFRs, combining a part-time job as stable yard groom with 80 hours a week as a volunteer with the Ashbourne Community First Responder group, which she coordinates.

Linda qualified nine years ago and hasn’t looked back since. “I’ve been so lucky to travel the world with equestrian jobs, which was great, but being a CFR is so much more rewarding. Being able to help people my community means the world to me and I really don’t mind missing Christmas if it means I can make a difference,” she said.

Linda’s commitment knows no bounds. After being furloughed from her previous job as a community transport bus driver, she committed all her spare time to her CFR role, exceeding a huge 2,500 hours since March alone.

And even brain surgery to treat a condition that was causing pressure around her brain and optic nerves wasn’t enough to set her back - she was fighting fit and ready to return to work just a week after her operation.

Over her nine years, Linda has been called out to care for over 2,000 patients and has no plans to stop any time soon.

“It probably sounds a bit strange, but I love the adrenaline rush of responding to an emergency and being able to use my skills to help and make a difference. The fact that it’s in the community I live in too is the icing on the cake. It’s the best job.” she said.

Linda was awarded the Chief Executive’s Commendation Award in 2018 for her remarkable commitment to EMAS and for always going above and beyond what’s expected of her.