A group of military volunteers at South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) have been awarded one of the Queen’s most prestigious honours in recognition of their lifesaving work in local communities.
MOD Corsham, a Ministry of Defence base located in Wiltshire, provides personnel who make up one of the military co-responder schemes at SCAS which sees individuals trained to attend medical emergencies.
The scheme is one of 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups across the UK to receive The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service this year.
The award was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of the Queen’s coronation and is the highest given to local volunteer groups across the UK, with winners announced during the annual Volunteers’ Week celebration.
It recognises outstanding community work and is equivalent to an MBE.
Volunteer co-responders, who are made up of members of the Armed Forces and other emergency services, attend a variety of emergencies and provide first aid in the crucial minutes before the arrival of paramedics.
The MOD Corsham Military Co-Responder Scheme, although based outside of the SCAS patch in Wiltshire, can be deployed across the SCAS counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire.
These volunteers also spend time raising funds for South Central Ambulance Charity to provide vehicles and equipment for use in their local communities as part of their responder schemes.
“As volunteer co-responders, our mission is to make that big difference with patients who require a time-critical, pre-hospital response,” said Louis Edwards, a member of the MOD Corsham Military Co-Responder Scheme at SCAS.
“At a time when every minute counts, we contribute to getting the most positive outcome possible to their situation.”
Nicola Dunbar, Head of Community Engagement and Training at SCAS (pictured), said: “We are extremely grateful to our colleagues in other emergency services and the military who generously give their time to train and work as volunteer co-responders for us.
“Our military co-responders in particular spend significant time not only assisting with medical emergencies in their local communities but also voluntarily raising funds to provide vehicles and equipment.
“This award rightly recognises their outstanding commitment, dedication and achievements and is thoroughly deserved given the role these individuals play in caring for patients and saving lives.”
Vanessa Casey, Chief Executive of South Central Ambulance Charity, added: “We have more than 1,200 community first responders, medical students, military, police and fire co-responders trained to attend life-threatening emergencies and they all deserve the highest praise.
“This recognition for our military co-responders during Volunteers’ Week is absolutely fantastic and the perfect way to celebrate the role they play in delivering excellent patient care as well as raising vital funds for our charity – thank you.”
Representatives of the MOD Corsham Military Co-Responder Scheme will receive the award crystal and certificate from Mr James Puxley, Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire, later this summer.
In addition, two volunteers from MOD Corsham will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2022 along with other recipients.