Cleethorpes shop chain owner joins emergency response charity to 'give something back to community'
A CLEETHORPES convenience store magnate is taking on a new life-saving challenge.
Wayne Edwards, of Chichester Road – who owns a chain of stores in the town – has joined the emergency response charity Lincolnshire Integrated Voluntary Emergency Service (Lives).
The Lives charity provides first-aid responders that can arrive at emergency situations before an ambulance, which can be vital, and can sometimes make a huge difference in life and death situations.
The responders are all volunteers who are given advanced first-aid training and are equipped with a defibrillator, breathing apparatus and advanced first-aid supplies.
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In 2012, the responders attended nearly 1,600 emergencies in North East Lincolnshire, potentially saving hundreds of lives.
And now their latest volunteer recruit is looking for sponsors to help purchase a new medical kit.
Wayne said: “I want to make a difference. I wanted to give something back to my community.
“My shops leave me with a lot of time on my hands, so I decided I wanted to volunteer. I looked online and found Lives.
“I asked what I could do to help and they said I can become a responder. So that’s what I did.
“I will be based in Cleethorpes, so I could potentially help my customers in an emergency.
“I will start my first-aid training in a few weeks time and it will take around two months to complete.
“By the end of my training I hope I can raise enough money to purchase a new lifesaving kit that can be used by me and the other responders.
“Only one responder can use a kit at a time, which limits their coverage. By having more, we can help more people.
“Each kit costs about £1,500 and is usually supplied by the charity. It gets little funding, so raising the money for the kit will really help them.”
Lives Regional Officer for North East Lincolnshire Steve King said: “We need all the support we can get.
“What Wayne is doing is absolutely marvelous. We couldn’t survive without the support of the public.
“Having an extra kit will make a tremendous difference.”
Lives office manager Paul Martin, who oversees the day-to-day organisation of the charity, said: “It’s great that people like Wayne are so enthusiastic to volunteer and fund raise.
“We aim to respond in 6 minutes, which can increase the survival rate of a cardiac arrest patient by 20 per cent.
“The region is currently four times the national average for cardiac survival.
“We provide responders that cover from the Humber to the Wash, which costs around £750,000 a year of which a third is funded by the Lincolnshire NHS Trust.
“The remaining £500,000 must come from fundraising.”