SUTTON-IN-CRAVEN businesswoman and mum-of-four Yvonne Butterworth has plenty to keep her busy but her extra efforts as a volunteer for Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust have seen her named as North Yorkshire’s Volunteer of the Year.
Yvonne, coordinator of the Sutton scheme, was individually recognised for her valuable contribution to the lifesaving initiative at the ambulance service’s Community First Responder Awards in York earlier the month.
The voluntary scheme run by the ambulance service was formed two years ago. It is made up of a small group of local volunteers who provide immediate life-saving care to members of the local community in certain emergency medical situations such as a heart attack, breathing difficulties or a collapse.
Volunteers carry portable oxygen and are trained in cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) which delivers a controlled electric shock to restart the heart.
Yvonne said: “I was really surprised and pleased to accept the award but although I’m the coordinator of the scheme, I’m really just another member of the team.
“CFRs do a vital job and it feels great to give something back to the local community. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without the support of people locally and I’d like to thank Sutton Parish Council for providing us with an additional equipment bag and defibrillator, both of which are in constant use by our team.”
Chrissy Blakeley, the service's community defibrillation trainer for the Craven area, added: “I’m delighted the Sutton-in-Craven scheme has been recognised and that the hard work Yvonne has put in to coordinating the team has been rewarded.
“CFRs make a valuable contribution to their communities as we recognise that in many medical emergencies the first few minutes are critical. If effective treatment can be performed during that period, lives can be saved and disability can be reduced.
“Our volunteers come from all walks of life and people volunteer for a wide variety of reasons. Some people want to gain experience, some want to give something back to their local community, others have had personal experience of a loved one needing prompt medical attention and can see the value in this initiative.
“Being a CFR can be extremely rewarding and I would encourage anyone who may be interested in taking on the role to get in touch.”
Yorkshire Ambulance Service is looking for volunteers to join the CFR scheme in Sutton-in-Craven and further afield. Full training will be given to successful applicants who need to be over 18, physically fit and hold a full driving licence.
Anyone interested in finding out more should contact Chrissy on 07769 684961 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, visit communityresponders.yas.nhs.uk