Gary Clark, EMEA Financial Controller at Global Knowledge, is a leading member of a local volunteer group that has recently received the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services, the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK.
Gary is the co-ordinator of the Swallowfield Community Responders, a group of volunteers who are trained by the South Central Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust to attend 999 medical emergencies in their local area.
The group deal with a variety of medical emergencies until the ambulance arrives, and carry a range of equipment including a defibrillator to reset the heart in the event
of a cardiac arrest.
The critical role they play is reflected in the fact that in all cases of life-threatening conditions the first ten minutes is the most crucial time, and a Community Responder can often arrive at scene within minutes of the 999 call being made.
Evidence of this can be seen in the 367 emergencies that the Swallowfield CFRs attended in 2016, where they arrived first on scene before ambulance crews in 85% of cases. In total the volunteers provided 3,538 hours of voluntary cover in the local community during the course of last year, with the incidents including:
- 13 cardiac arrests
- 26 unconscious patients
- 72 people with breathing difficulties
- 47 patients with chest pains
The award itself is seen as the MBE for volunteer groups. First announced in 2002 as part of the celebrations for The Queen’s Golden Jubilee, it is given for outstanding achievement by groups of volunteers who regularly devote their time to helping others in the community, improving the quality of life and opportunity for others and providing an outstanding service.
Nominations for the award are assessed by a regional committee before being passed to a national committee for final selection and recommendation to The Queen.
Paul Renucci, EMEA President at Global Knowledge, commented: “This is a tremendous recognition for the efforts of Gary and the wider Swallowfield team. They do an incredible amount for their local community, making a life-saving difference over the years to hundreds of people and all in their spare time.”
But perhaps the final word should go to Gary who, upon receiving the award from the Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, said: “I’m very proud – whilst we do what we do to give something back to the community, it is nevertheless pleasing to receive recognition for our efforts.”