One of Glasgow’s leading family firms has given a four-figure donation to a group of medics who relieve pressure on emergency services by voluntarily patrolling the city centre dealing with injuries sustained in the night-time economy.
More than 50 volunteers comprise Glasgow Street Aid, who handle assault injuries, medical emergencies, such as heart attacks and overdoses, and minor injuries. They also operate a needle exchange to try to limit the chance of drug users picking up an infection by using dirty needles.
The group has a base in Union Street from where its qualified volunteers have been operating for over three years and has a good relationship with Queen Margaret University.
Former soldier and head of service at Glasgow Street Aid, John Barclay, explains:
“The university has paramedic students and we do the placement providing for them from the third sector point of view. They’ll do their ambulance placement, but they’ll also do their third sector which is here, which is great. It means that their voluntary hours here basically go towards their university course, which is fantastic.”
John says the volunteers help ease pressure on NHS services, particularly at busy times like weekend nights, which is backed up by their own data.
“From January to June we’ve done 694 jobs, which is just crazy to be honest … so we’ve managed to save 368 ambulances being called out just by us doing our job,” says John.
“That’s just by us being able to see them, assess them, give them advice, clean their wounds, whatever it may be.”
Glasgow Street Aid has also had numerous interactions with police officers, usually to assess if someone who’s been arrested say in the city centre is suffering from something other than too much to drink.
The group approached Allied Vehicles Charitable Trust to seek help with funding team radios for security and on shift communication, medical kit, volunteer uniforms, medical consumables and diagnostic equipment, and were given a £1,500 donation.
Rebecca, another Glasgow Street Aid volunteer, said the donation was wonderful, adding:
“We cannot thank the trust enough for the grant … it really will help us out”
Indeed, one of the first things they bought with the gift was a monitor to check and record patients’ vital signs in a form that is easily transferable to hospital equipment.
Allied Corporate Culture Director, David Facenna, said:
“Glasgow Street Aid is an amazing charity and I think it’s incredible that these medics give up their time to help people, especially at weekends when it can be quite a daunting prospect.”