Critical care charity on the brink of folding

Norfolk Accident Rescue Service (NARS) are in desperate need of donations in order tokeep running. P

Norfolk Accident Rescue Service (NARS) are in desperate need of donations in order tokeep running. Picture: NARS - Credit: Archant

A charity that has helped save hundreds lives in Norfolk has warned it may not be around for much longer because donations have all but dried up.

Holby star Alex Wilkinshaw (Adrian 'Fletch' Fletcher) taking part in the CPR and defibrillator aware

Holby star Alex Wilkinshaw (Adrian 'Fletch' Fletcher) taking part in the CPR and defibrillator awareness event hosted by the Norfolk Accident and Rescue Service (NARS) at the Castle Quarter last month. With him is Sam Croucher, NARS fundraiser. Since the COVID-19 outbreak NARS have had cease all fundraising events and are in desperate need of donationsPicture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious car crash, a complex incident or suffered a cardiac arrest the chances are you have been benefitted from the expertise of Norfolk Accident Rescue Service (NARS).

The 80-strong team of highly specialised doctors, nurses, paramedics and first responders is on call 24/7 and provides specialist critical care above that which a normal ambulance would be able to offer.

But since the Covid-19 pandemic started to take hold, the charity has seen a dramatic fall in donations, meaning without urgent support it will have to close within the year.

Chris Neil, NARS chairman and critical care paramedic, said the charity had enough to run a skeleton team for less than six months, after which it would be forced to stop operating.

The white VW Tiguan for Norfolk Accident Rescue Service (NARS), paid for by donations from Potters F

The white VW Tiguan for Norfolk Accident Rescue Service (NARS), paid for by donations from Potters Friends Foundation. Picture: NARS - Credit: Archant


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He said: “We’ve received no donations at all over the last few weeks, it’s just a bit of a concern that it’s our 50th year and might have to stop.”

Mr Neil said that while the coronavirus was a serious public health concern, it did not prevent NARS from responding to calls and attending serious incidents on a daily basis.

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He said: “While this is going on we have got our clinical teams out there to help patients but we might need to shut shop and I know there’s a lot of businesses in the community [which are struggling], but we are really desperate.

“All we need is for people to donate a little bit each month.”

Holby star Alex Wilkinshaw (Adrian 'Fletch' Fletcher) with the team in the CPR and defibrillator awa

Holby star Alex Wilkinshaw (Adrian 'Fletch' Fletcher) with the team in the CPR and defibrillator awareness event hosted by the Norfolk Accident and Rescue Service (NARS) at the Castle Quarter last month, since the COVID-19 outbreak NARS have had cease all fundraising events. From left, Pat Seaman, Angela Croucher, Karen Smithson, Sam Croucher, Al Moore and Fiona Andrews. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

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

Mr Neil said: “We have saved countless lives in serious car crashes and cardiac arrests.

“I know there are people out there who cannot work at the moment but there are others who might be able to dig a little deeper.

“We are a charity that you will see out there now, in a time of crisis.”

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

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