Get involved: How you can help NARS save lives in Norfolk

Critical care vehicle with medical packs on pavement

Norfolk Accident Rescue Service (NARS) is looking for people to participate in its 50 for 50 fundraising campaign - Credit: NARS

Norfolk Accident Rescue Service (NARS) is a local medical charity celebrating 50 years saving lives in Norfolk. Fundraising manager Jess Moses explains how you can participate in its 50 for 50 fundraising campaign to keep wheels turning and hearts beating.  

Voluntary worker in front of critical care vehicle

NARS fundraising manager Jess Moses - Credit: NARS

With the end of lockdown in sight, many of us are searching for ways to ride out the final months of a long and lonely winter. A new fundraising campaign from local medical charity NARS offers a fantastic opportunity to get active in March – and for a worthy cause.  

Norfolk Accident Rescue Service (NARS) is a charitable organisation tasked by the ambulance service with a specialised team of doctors, nurses, paramedics and first responders on call 24/7 to provide specialist critical care – whether that involves road traffic collisions, cardiac arrests, falls, strokes, industrial accidents or any other medical emergency.  

Dispatched like other frontline resources from the ambulance control room, NARS volunteers can attend the scene of life-threatening medical emergencies within minutes of a 999 call – and in an emergency, every minute counts. 

Every member of the rapid response team is a volunteer giving up their free time to promote the wellbeing of the community and they are provided with equipment needed to be able to respond directly from home in their own car if necessary. NARS paramedics are also equipped to administer advanced pre-hospital care that traditional ambulance services cannot provide, which increases patients’ chances of survival. 

So far this year, NARS has already attended the scene of six cardiac arrests that resulted in resuscitation. That means there are six people alive and kicking today thanks to the actions of NARS volunteers in 2021 alone. 

“We were recently contacted by a teenager in South Norfolk whose father’s life was saved by our first responders and critical care paramedics,” says NARS fundraising manager Jess Moses. “After a cardiac arrest, our volunteers were able to save the man’s life. His son is eternally grateful to us for keeping his dad alive.”  

Many incorrectly assume that the service is part of the traditional ambulance care provided by the state. 

“Often people don't realise that NARS is a charity,” Jess explains. “We work alongside the NHS – but we are not part of it. We are a standalone charity in our own right and the guys and gals doing the critical work of saving lives are all volunteers.”  

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Due to its charity status, NARS is not in receipt of any government funding. The organisation relies entirely on the generosity of the community it serves to stay operational and all donations contribute directly to patient care. 

Critical care vehicles parked outside

The public are encouraged to raise funds for NARS throughout the month of March - Credit: NARS/Sam Moores

However, as many working in the charity sector will attest, the Covid-19 pandemic has been a real kick in the collection box. To remedy this, NARS is launching a new campaign called 50 for 50 to raise vital funds throughout the month of March.  

“In celebration of NARS' 50th year in operation, we are launching a new fundraising drive,” Jess says. “The 50 for 50 campaign encourages the public to get active and raise funds for NARS – all centred around the number 50.  

“For example, you could challenge yourself to walk or run a total of 50 miles during the month of March and get your friends and family to sponsor you. Or you could bake 50 cakes and sell them in a Covid-secure way. You could even host an online quiz with 50 questions where participants donate to play. You can also simply donate £50 via our website or send a cheque.  

“The 50 for 50 campaign is intended to be inclusive, so that everybody can find something they can do from the safety of their own homes and gardens, while fitting it around their busy lives. It is not restrictive – whatever works for you. 

“Supporters that raise over £50 can register on our website and will receive a free NARS jute bag as a thank you,” Jess adds. “Once registered, you can share your efforts, post photos and tag your friends on our social media channels with the hashtag #NARS50for50.” 

The campaign will conclude with 50 for 50 Live! – an outdoor event at the NARS base in Dereham where the medical volunteers will take part in 50 hours of static cycling. The 50 for 50 Live! event is planned for the final weekend in March and subject to government restrictions.  

To register or to make a donation, please visit www.nars.org.uk

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