Thank you to all our volunteers who are going above and beyond to help with COVID-19

Thank you to all our volunteers who are going above and beyond to help with COVID-19

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Gordon Harrison clocking on for his first volunteering shift at Alfreton Ambulance Station in Derbyshire

Thank you to all our volunteers who are going above and beyond to help with COVID-19.

As the UK and the rest of the world faces the greatest challenge in our lifetimes, volunteers are stepping up, rolling up their sleeves and helping us save lives.

One of these volunteers is Gordon Harrison, who has recently joined EMAS to help with delivering personal protective equipment (PPE) across Derbyshire.

59-year-old Gordon, from Mickleover in Derbyshire, retired from Rolls Royce in January 2020 after 42 years manufacturing luxury cars.

He said: “Ever since I had retired all I could think about was how I could give something back to the community.

“I was frustrated with the feeling of helplessness because of COVID-19, and that is when I decided I was going to channel my free time and energy into trying to make a small but positive impact.

“I had been thinking of joining the volunteer car service scheme at EMAS for some time as I remember when my wife used to work as a nurse in a renal ward years ago.

"She would say how invaluable the service was in ensuring patients could attend their kidney dialysis appointments.”

Gordon initially wanted to join the volunteer car service (VCS), but due to the pandemic, the service could not accept any new volunteers onto the scheme to continue to protect volunteers and the patients that depend on the service

Deborah Dudley, who coordinates the VCS scheme and interviewed Gordon said: “As soon as I told Gordon that unfortunately we would not be able to process his application further to transport patients he understood, but immediately asked ‘what else can I do to help?’

“He has all the traits that you could want in a volunteer for the ambulance service. He is competent, level-headed and sensible, so I was determined to see how else he could help."

Deborah arranged for Gordon to undergo the necessary HR checks so that he could be part of the team distributing PPE to our ambulance crews, so they can protect themselves while caring for their patients.

Gordon explained that he is delighted to be supporting the NHS behind the scenes. 

He said: “The only way we will get out the other side of this pandemic is by empowering yourself to do what you can as part of a collective effort. I can do that by utilising my driving skills to deliver PPE to the medically trained staff so that they can focus their skills on making people better and saving lives.”

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the amazing volunteers who are giving up their time to support our emergency colleagues with the national effort in fighting this pandemic