How you can help
In common with all Community First Responder (CFR) teams in the UK, we are funded entirely by public and community donations. The need to maintain a funding income stream and remain financially viable is a constant concern. This is, of course, additional to our day-to-day concerns of CFRs fulfilling their primary role of providing emergency medical care.
West Midlands Ambulance Service does not provide funding for the equipment but does provide the valuable training and support to CFRs together with some of the equipment consumables. As we are self-funding, we are constantly looking for financial support from local businesses, organisations and individual donors to allow us to expand and replace equipment. We were particularly pleased to have received significant initial monies in 2012/2013 from the Stratford Town Trust and Stratford Rotary to enable us to equip almost 7 of our early CFRs.
All financial support that we receive will only be used for the purpose of providing new equipment, maintaining / replenishing existing equipment or operating the CFR service. All Scheme CFR and Support members give their time free of charge. Currently CFRs receive limited expenses for fuel when using their own cars but no other contributions such as to personal mobile phone bills. However we provide a Scheme car and dedicated mobile/radio such that personal car use is minimised
How you can support the Scheme financially
There are a number of ways:
- Make a donation
We welcome donations from individuals, businesses, funding and fundraising organisation. All donations, either as money or purchase of equipment are recognised on our website. To find out how to make a cash donation please go to Make a donation
- Host a Collection Box
If you would like to host a collection box, please Contact us
- Provide Goods or Services for Fundraising Events
We will be running a number of fundraising events which often include a raffle or prize draw. If you or your business can provide either a goods or services prize then please Contact Us
- Organise a Fundraising Event
If you are prepared to organise a fundraising event with Avon Valley Community First Responder Scheme as the sole or part beneficiary, we would be very grateful. Examples of such events would be sponsored activities, coffee mornings, cake and tombola stalls. If you would like to help in this way, please Contact Us
- Provide Goods or Services for Scheme use
If you or your business provides goods or services that the Scheme uses-or could use-we would be grateful if you could offer free or discounted products and services. Examples could be printing, equipment, clothing etc. If you would like to help in this way, please Contact Us.
Join the Scheme as either a CFR or Supporter Member
Currently we have Trustees, either CFR or Supporter Members, which cover the main roles, Scheme Chairperson, Scheme Coordinator, Treasurer and Secretary. In addition we have several non-technical Supporter Members whose fund-raising and administrative efforts are essential to the day-to-day operation of the Scheme. The Scheme seeks to further an ‘integrated family’ approach with all Scheme members, both medical and non-medical alike, to have a direct input to the Scheme with a single vote at meetings.
We always need additional help in the running of the Scheme and in particular, fundraising
If you would like to join the Scheme as a fundraiser, we would welcome you to the team. Medical knowledge is not necessary. Someone who could manage fundraising would be particularly helpful in reducing the load on the Scheme officers and CFRs
Join the Scheme as a Community First Responder (CFR)
Additional CFRs will help the CFR team provide greater coverage in terms of the number of call that can be responded to. CFRs can be called out 24:7 but cannot be responded to if a CFR is not on duty at the time. Volunteer CFRs need to be between 18 and 70 and preferably have access to a car, albeit they may be able to use the Scheme car. Operationally they must be prepared to attend emergency calls from either their home or place of work as soon as they receive a callout (in a similar way to which retained fire-fighters and RNLI staff operate). While a responder is on duty they can continue with their normal activities in the local area but must be prepared to drop everything and attend a call should one arise.
It is up the individual CFR to decide when and for how long they are on duty. There are absolutely no expectations or obligations in terms of the minimum hours per week and CFRs can log on and off with WMAS Emergency Operations Centre to suit their personal availability. CFRs can decline a callout should they wish and callouts are not offered to CFRs where there is a significant risk to CFRs in attending such as road traffic accidents and some public disorder incidents.
Prospective CFRs have an informal interview with the WMAS and have to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service, DBS, check. Once these are successfully completed, training can begin. Previous medical or first aid experience is an advantage but not essential as extensive initial and ongoing training is provided by WMAS. Initial training consists of attendance over 3 weekends followed by a written exam and practical skills assessment. Refresher training then takes place to keep CFRs up to date with new and different techniques. There are also further opportunities to develop their skills by attending specialist training courses.
More details can be found on the WMAS website here. Our How it works page will gives more details about what is involved as an operating CFR. CFRs need to either work or live in our area of operational coverage-please see Where we cover. If you are interested in finding out more or have a specific enquiry please Contact us.