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Help save lives - Dereham volunteer, 84

PUBLISHED: 09:38 02 February 2009 | UPDATED: 14:59 07 July 2010

A DEREHAM volunteer who has been with a first aid charity for more than 60 years is calling on other people to sign up and help save lives.



This week is National First Aid Week and the county's leading first aid organisation, St John Ambulance Norfolk, is calling for people to become lifesavers.

A DEREHAM volunteer who has been with a first aid charity for more than 60 years is calling on other people to sign up and help save lives.

This week is National First Aid Week and the county's leading first aid organisation, St John Ambulance Norfolk, is calling for people to become lifesavers.

In 2008 more than 1,800 people in Norfolk were helped by St John Ambulance and a total of 11,500 people have attended training courses throughout the year.

There are a variety of first aid courses available across the county and Sue Skoyles, training officer, said: "St John Ambulance is working incredibly hard to increase the awareness of the huge number of people who fall victim to heart-related illness and accidents in their homes each year and to ensure the appropriate measures are in place to ensure the health of those in Norfolk.

"We believe that no one should suffer from a lack of trained first aiders and hope that First Aid Week will open the eyes of local residents and communicate how just a few hours of training can really improve their first aid knowledge and lifesaving skills, presenting a real opportunity for them to be a lifesaver."

Flo Mann, 84, from Swanton Avenue in Dereham, has been volunteering with the service for more than 60 years, and even though she has retired from active duty, she is still secretary of the Dereham division.

She joined during the second world war, in 1944, while she was working in a factory, and said: "I had just wanted to do something to be able to help others and this seemed the perfect way. I have enjoyed every minute of it."

Mrs Mann, who has two sons, David and Derek, has helped out at a range of events over the years, from theatre productions to community fairs, providing hands-on first aid and support to anyone taken ill.

She said one of the memorable moments was when she and a colleague went out of their way to help a man who had become ill in a hotel.

She said: "The doctor told us the man needed to go home but was not well enough to travel on his own. The only problem was that he lived in Darlington, so my colleague and I ended up accompanying him all the way back as there was no one else who could go with him."

Mrs Mann, whose husband Charles died 15 years ago, said St John Ambulance was still needed as much today as when she first joined. She said: "I would urge people to join up, not only because of the experiences you will have but, because the reverse side is, you never know when you might need the services."

For further information about St John Ambulance Norfolk and the courses available, call 01603 431639 or email training@norfolk.sja.org.uk

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