accessibility & help

First aid comes naturally to rehab heroes

The whole point of rehab is that you’re the one getting help – but four recovering addicts turned that thinking on its head when they stepped up to save a stricken motorist.

Many people struggling with drug and alcohol addictions in the market town of Stroud, see The Nelson Trust as a lifeline.

The charity provides treatment and training that helps people build their confidence, and prepare for life after rehab.

As part of their rehabilitation, those attending the centre are also taught first aid training courtesy of the British Red Cross. Which, it turns out, is just as well.

Injured motorist

Recently, four people from the Trust were chatting when they heard a faint cry for help coming from behind some nearby houses.

Scrambling down an alleyway to reach the source of the cries, they found an older man stuck in a potentially very dangerous situation.

The poor man was lying on the ground with one leg inside his car and the other trapped under the vehicle’s front wheel. The group immediately realised that the car must have somehow rolled back onto his leg.

Box of chocolates

Luckily, the gang had just finished their first aid training so knew exactly what to do. First, they called for an ambulance. Then they assessed the situation, making sure the casualty was otherwise okay and reassuring him.

Finally, they decided to employ a bit of muscle power. Working together, they gave a big heave and pushed the car back away from the man’s leg. Then they kept him in the same position until an ambulance arrived, to avoid further injuries.

Fortunately nothing was broken and, after such swift help and tender care, he made a full recovery.

The group were really touched when the man’s family later dropped by at The Nelson Trust to say thank you with a big box of chocolates.

‘Giving something back’


Looking back at the incident, one of the group – Glenn Comerford – said: “I saw helping the man as my public duty. As an ex-soldier, I would never leave a man down.”

Everyone had a role to play. Jay Hopper recalled: “My immediate response was to make sure the guy was calm and comfortable, while the others administered first aid.”

His friend Claire Higgins added: “I’m really proud that we all pulled together as a team.”

Another benefit of the group’s brave actions is that it might encourage others to see them in a new light.

Chris Stirling added: “Some people may misunderstand the work that goes on at The Nelson Trust, so I feel honoured to have given something back to the community. It’s a privilege to help represent the organisation in this positive way.”

Spokesperson Jeannette Ward said: “It’s a double-whammy. We’re not only helping our clients to grow into responsible citizens, but also bringing wider benefits to our neighbours.”

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