THE public is being asked to raise £1m by Christmas 2019 to help the South Central Ambulance Charity (SCAC) continue delivering its vital life-saving services.
A campaign was officially launched yesterday (Wednesday) and SCAC said that the extra money will help it provide enhanced care for local people ‘over and above’ that which current NHS funding allows.
All the money raised will support ambulance services in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire.
It is hoped that the cash will help to provide more lifesaving equipment, such as defibrillators, to help train local communities to save lives.
The charity will also train and equip volunteer community first responders, who provide a vital life-saving response to people in the crucial minutes before an ambulance arrives.
A Care Quality Commission report (CQC), released in September, rated the South Central Ambulance Service as ‘good’ but raised concerns over staff shortages and response targets for 999 calls.
The launch was held at O2 UK’s head office in Slough.
O2 has helped to raise the profile of responders and also developed new life-saving smartphone technology which will be officially launched later this month.
The Falklands War veteran Simon Weston is supporting the campaign and will be the charity’s patron.
Mr Weston said: “How many of us have seen something bad happen to a friend, family member or stranger when there is no-one around for immediate help, not knowing what to do, and later thought ‘I wish I could have done something or made a difference’?
“This is the difference you can make.
“By volunteering yourself, getting involved in events or donating money you will help get more volunteers trained in life-saving skills with more life-saving equipment available in your community.
“I’m very excited to support the South Central Ambulance Charity because it will help local people realise that they can make the difference, they can be the difference.”
The SCAS responds to both emergency and non-emergency calls and covers an area of approximately 3,554 square miles which has a residential population of more than 4.6 million.
As part of the £1m appeal, the charity is launching a new Corporate Partners scheme to encourage other businesses to follow O2’s example and to get behind the charity.
If you would like to support the charity by running a fundraising activity or getting involved as a volunteer, email Rachel.firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.