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Volunteers out in force in UK over festive period

21 December 2012

Red Cross volunteers will be out and about over the festive season providing first aid support in various town and city centres across the UK.

A new initiative in Watford will see volunteers, along with representatives from emergency services, operating a first aid post in the busiest part of the town centre.

It will be staffed on Friday and Saturday nights in the run-up to Christmas, as well as Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, from 8pm to 3am.

Led by the East of England Ambulance Service, the initiative is designed to reduce the demands put on the A&E casualty department and minor injuries units at Watford General Hospital.

Not only will members of the public be able to access instant medical help at the first aid post but the first aid teams, accompanied by constables from Hertfordshire Police, will also be responding to emergencies in the town centre on foot.

Glasgow SOS bus

Meanwhile, volunteers will also be staffing a first aid bus in the centre of Glasgow every Friday and Saturday in the run up to Christmas, as well as Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, 30 December and Hogmanay.

As part of the SOS Glasgow project, a partnership between several organisations from the statutory, voluntary and private sector, the volunteers will help people who have become separated from their friends, become disorientated, lost their mobile phones or perhaps sustained injuries.

The bus will be stationed on Gordon St in Glasgow from 10pm to 4pm each night, and a British Red Cross ambulance crew, working in partnership with the Scottish Ambulance Service, is also on site to transport anyone with minor injuries to the hospital from the bus.

London A&E support

Red Cross volunteers are also supporting an alcohol recovery centre at St Thomas' Hospital’s accident and emergency department in London, for eight weeks over Christmas and New Year.

The centre is a safe space for people to recover from excessive alcohol intake. Working alongside the hospital's medical team, at least five Red Cross volunteers will be on hand through the night on Fridays and Saturdays to help look after around 20 patients each shift.

Birmingham city centre

Teams from the British Red Cross will also be working in partnership with West Midlands Ambulance Service and other voluntary organisations to assess and treat patients from a temporary base in Birmingham City centre this weekend and in the run up to New Year's Eve.

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