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Critical care charity thanks the public for its response to funding crisis

PUBLISHED: 11:54 04 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:00 04 April 2020

NARS chairman and critical care paramedic Chris Neil (L) alongside Alex Hartley the pair were out on patrol on the quiet streets of Norwich during lockdown on Friday April 4. Picture: NARS

NARS chairman and critical care paramedic Chris Neil (L) alongside Alex Hartley the pair were out on patrol on the quiet streets of Norwich during lockdown on Friday April 4. Picture: NARS

Archant

A charity which made a desperate appeal for help after coronavirus led to a dramatic fall in donations has thanked people for their support and reassured the public it is continuing to operate.

NARS have been out patrolling the county responding to 999 calls during the COVID-19 lockdown, this photo shows the team on an empty A47 near to Dereham on Friday April 4. Picture: Chris NeilNARS have been out patrolling the county responding to 999 calls during the COVID-19 lockdown, this photo shows the team on an empty A47 near to Dereham on Friday April 4. Picture: Chris Neil

Earlier this month Norfolk Accident and Rescue Service (NARS), which provides specialist critical car above that which a normal ambulance would be able to offer, was forced to appeal for support after donations all but dried up.

The charity warned that without help it only had enough money in the bank to keep running for six months.

Following the appeal, NARS has received around £3,000 in donations, a boost which has bolstered its reserves but the charity has also received concerned messages about its possible closure.

Now, the charity has thanked people for their support moved to reassure people that it will continue to save lives but has emphasised the need for ongoing donations while it was unable to carry out its normal fundraising activity because of coronavirus.

A NARS responce vehicle on an empty Gentleman's Walk, on Friday April 4, the thoroughfare would usually be heaving on a Friday afternoon but instead is empty as people stay at away during lockdown.Picture: Chris Neil/NARSA NARS responce vehicle on an empty Gentleman's Walk, on Friday April 4, the thoroughfare would usually be heaving on a Friday afternoon but instead is empty as people stay at away during lockdown.Picture: Chris Neil/NARS

Chris Neil, NARS chairman and critical care paramedic, said the appeal had led to donations which had not only boosted the charity’s bank balance but also team morale, he said: “We’ve had a flurry of donations which has been really helpful and encouragingly it’s certainly improved the morale of the team, it has kind of given the team the boost it needed.

“We’d like to say a big shout out and thank you to everybody who has come to our rescue.”

Mr Neil said after hearing of NARS’ plight some had expressed concern that closure was imminent, he said; “We still need help, there’s certainly no suggestion of closing, as things stand [we’ve had] £3,000 in donations which is really encouraging.

“[The support] from the people of Norfolk, who have come to rescue, has been overwhelming and it’s certainly allowing us to continue. We were looking at six months [worth of funds in the bank] it’s probably gone up . We really appreciate the support and it’s certainly helping us to carry on the service,” he said.

As a charity, NARS receives no government funding and relies purely on public donations to keep it operational.

• To donate to NARS visit its at website: www.nars.org.uk/support-nars


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