A gruelling 83 mile charity walk around the Norfolk coast by volunteer paramedics, doctors, nurses and community first responders has raised enough money to buy seven pieces of equipment to administer on extremely ill people with breathing conditions.
Nine ladies who volunteer for Norfolk Accident Rescue Service (NARS) walked 83 miles from Hunstanton to Potters Resort at Hopton-on-Sea between 17th and 19th January 2020 carrying 60kg. The organiser of the walk, Laura Brown, walked all 83 miles, while others formed a relay. As well as having full time jobs, the women doing the walk all volunteer for NARS in their spare time.
The £3,517.35 raised allows NARS, which provides expert medical help at life-threatening medical emergencies to support the East of England Ambulance Service Trust, to purchase seven aerogens. Each aerogen costs £450, and it then costs £30 each time it is administered on a patient. NARS receives no government funding.
Along with the walk itself, cold temperatures and uneven terrain on the Norfolk Coast Path, the ladies took it in turns to carry 60kg of life saving kit, which includes oxygen cylinders, airway pods, masks, a blood glucose kit and all of the day to day kit they use in their work with NARS.
After finishing their walk at Potters Resort on Sunday, the ladies were greeted by the NARS team, along with Judy Potter, Celia Potter and NARS Patron, John Potter.
Laura Brown, full time paramedic for the East of England ambulance service, NARS paramedic in her spare time and organiser of the walk, said: “I’m so proud of all the ladies who agreed to join me in this walk and raise funds for a charity we are all so passionate about. The hardest part was the first day as the weather was against us and also navigating the salt marshes near Blakeney in the dark, which resulted in some muddy bottoms! I didn’t realise until afterwards that I walked the equivalent of three marathons in three days and that resulted in me getting through 16 pairs of socks!
“The best part of the walk was at the end of the day seeing more donations coming in, and a big thanks to the volunteers who supported us in the NARS support vehicle too. Crossing the finishing line at Potters was amazing and then being treated to drinks, dinner and time relaxing at Palms Health & Fitness Club. We also got presented with a voucher for Potters Aphrodite Beauty Studio to return for a foot and leg massage, which is just what we need after the walk! A big thank you to everyone who supported us.”
The ladies who walked were Laura Brown, Lucy Hammond, Nicky Ueckermann, Karen Smithson, Karan Botsford, Sue Moffat and Patricia Seaman. The ladies were supported in a support vehicle by Matt Blakey, Nick Ball, Steve Maddams and Jack in different shifts.
John Potter said: “These modern day heroes already volunteer in their spare time to save lives and then trek across the Norfolk coast to raise funds in the middle of January carrying 60kg to buy new equipment to help even more people in their time of need! I have such admiration for all the amazing volunteers at NARS and it has been wonderful to meet them and hear about the inspiring work they do. Every donation they receive goes towards helping NARS continue to help people in Norfolk when they make a 999 call, and every donation shows the team just how valued they are. Although the walk is now done, raising money for the charity continues, so please do donate whatever you can.”
Donations are still welcome. To donate visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?pageId=1107565
For more information on NARS visit https://www.nars.org.uk/
Watch the video of their last steps with NARS Patron John Potter and see the welcome they got from Buz...