Our Charity Night in July was a great success. Our two chosen charities for this year were the 2nd Capel Guides and the Community First Responders (the Bentley, Capel St Mary & Tattingstone Branch).
At the start of the evening, Mrs Ellie Wepener, the leader from 2nd Capel Guides, told us about their need for a new storage hut to keep their tents and equipment safe from the weather. They have already organised fund-raising activities and applied for grants aiming to raise the £5000 total cost of the new hut, so they were extremely grateful for our interest and contribution towards this sum.
The evening continued with a talk and demonstration from the First Responders, in this case Andy Proctor and Trainee Sandy Browning. A Community First Responder is trained to provide first aid and basic life support, including CPR. They carry a comprehensive medical kit including a defibrillator and oxygen delivery system, and they are made up of volunteers (aged between 18 and 70) who are on call at specific times on a rota basis. Whenever an ambulance is despatched to incidents such as chest pains, falls, strokes, breathing problems or diabetic cases the ambulance control room also contacts the on-duty First Responder.
(First Responders do not deal with road traffic accidents, trauma injuries or children under 8.) When arriving first on the scene the First Responders begin providing treatment, handing over to the ambulance crew as soon as they arrive. Every second is vital so their role is very important, especially in rural areas where the ambulance may take longer to get to an incident.
Speed of attendance at a scene is crucial, particularly in the event of a suspected stroke. We have all heard of the acronym F.A.S.T.
F = Face (Can the patient smile, has their facial expression fallen or become lop-sided)
A = Arms (Can the patient raise their arms or squeeze your hand – is one side stronger than the other)
S = Speech (Is the patient slurring their words or unable to speak)
T = Time to ring 999.
Andy and Sandy demonstrated the use of the defibrillator and showed us how to do CPR (with mouth to mouth and chest compressions) and put a patient in the recovery position.
Apparently older or middle-aged people are generally slower at calling 999 as they “don’t want to bother anyone unnecessarily”. The general rule is – if anyone seems confused, off-colour or is showing a one-sided weakness – DON’T HESITATE – CALL 999!
After the demonstration we held a Grand Raffle in aid of these two worthy causes, and there was also a Crazy Horse Race Draw. In total we made £70.00, and when this amount was added to our Fun Day total we had enough to donate cheques of £100.00 to each cause!
Altogether it was a very informative, worthwhile and enjoyable evening!