Lincolnshire charity, LIVES, is calling on the public to lend its support after helping a record number of people in medical emergency during 2017.
The charity helped 21,550 people in 2017; an increase of 1,000 more people from 2016, which itself saw a 2,000 patient increase from 2015.
The types of emergencies have ranged from falls, breathing problems and chest pains to the most serious life-threatening emergencies, including more than 1,000 serious road traffic collisions.
December was the busiest month for the charity, with more than 2,020 people receiving care from a LIVES responder.
Although the care is delivered by volunteers, the cost of keeping them on the road and training new volunteers to help meet the demand puts pressure on the charity to raise more funds from the public.
Last year the charity trained 250 new community first responders and recruited six more highly skilled medics to provide advanced critical care to the most complex of emergencies. The more emergencies also puts a strain on medical supplies that the charity has to fund. For example, its oxygen bill for 2017 was in the region of £60,000.
Nikki Silver, chief executive of LIVES says: “2017 has been a phenomenal year for our volunteers and we’re grateful to each and every one of them for their immense support and dedication to being there for their community in time of greatest immediate need, day or night, whatever the weather, wherever the patient.
“However, we know for every person we help, there are many others in emergency we simply cannot get to. The Lincolnshire public are extremely supportive of our work and we really hope that in 2018 they can consider getting behind LIVES to help us be there for their neighbours, family and friends should they need us. Our responders’ actions really do save lives.”
The cost of running LIVES responder service for a year is just over £1.3million, which translates to around £60 per person helped by LIVES. LIVES is asking the public to consider supporting the charity by becoming a Friend of LIVES and donating up to £4.50 per month, thereby helping one more person each year in emergency. This can be done by going to www.lives.org.uk.