Volunteers from the St John Ambulance Guernsey charity have carried out hundreds of essential deliveries for islanders during lockdown as well as spending more than 200 hours cleaning frontline ambulances.
The Covid-19 response services were first introduced during the first wave of the pandemic last year and have been carrying on quietly in the background ever since, but when the latest lockdown was announced the demand for the services shot up.
Since 23rd January St John volunteers have collected and delivered 161 prescriptions for people who were isolating or unable to get out. St John has also delivered 65 lots of essential shopping supplies for people who couldn’t get to the shops and didn’t have family to help.
In addition, volunteer drivers have made 61 journeys transporting people to and from the Community Vaccination Centre at Beau Sejour for their vaccines.
While many of the volunteers are existing St John members who would normally act as event first aiders or youth leaders, a significant number of new volunteers have come forward to help the charity provide support to the community during the pandemic.
Meanwhile the decontamination team, which is also made up of volunteers has deep cleaned 54 frontline emergency ambulances, which is more than in the whole of the last lockdown in 2020. The cleaning process which involves all the equipment being removed and cleaned, as well as all the surfaces being wiped down and mopped, is required after every case involving a patient with potential Covid-19 symptoms. Each cleaning team consists of between two and four people and in total more than 200 hours has been spent cleaning vehicles.
On one particularly busy day volunteers cleaned fifteen ambulances in a 24 hour period.
Chief Ambulance Officer Mark Mapp said: “I am extremely grateful to the volunteers on the decontamination team. The cleaning of ambulances is normally done by the ambulance crews, but due to the periods of high demand and the length of time needed to completely clean an ambulance, which can be between one and two hours. Having the decontamination team at the station means frontline clinicians can respond in another vehicle. On some particularly busy days having the volunteers here has allowed crews to get a quick cup of tea or a meal break, which otherwise they would not have had time to do.”
Chief Executive Officer Nikki Harrison said: “Our volunteers have been amazing. We couldn’t do all we do without the tremendous dedication and commitment of these people. I would like to thank everyone who has given their time to help us provide these essential services to Guernsey during this second lockdown, but I would particularly like to pay tribute to those who have had no connection with St John in the past who have come forward to support us. We are so grateful to the businesses that have come forward to offer us support, with staff volunteering and financially. This has been a great example of our community coming together. St John Ambulance Guernsey will continue to provide the delivery service, the transport scheme, the Caring Caller line and decontamination team for as long as is necessary.”
Anyone wishing to donate to the St John Ambulance Guernsey charity can do so online at https://giving.gg/donate/charity/54/St-John-Guernsey-LBG