A first class vehicle helps to give top quality service

PUBLISHED: 11:06 18 June 2009 | UPDATED: 11:11 10 June 2010

IMAGINE you have completed your Monday to Friday job or studies and, at the weekend, you will be outside helping people who need medical attention - for free.

IMAGINE you have completed your Monday to Friday job or studies and, at the weekend, you will be outside helping people who need medical attention - for free.

A tiring and demanding situation maybe, but for many of Exmouth St John Ambulance's voluntary members, that scenario is an ongoing reality, writes Graham Britton.

Julia McNally, youth division superintendent and Badger leader, is just one person who gives up her spare time to help care for those who need medical help.

Both the Exmouth and Budleigh Journal newspapers have launched a 'help us help you' campaign to assist the town's St John Ambulance branch reach a £40,000 fundraising target.

The money is needed to buy a second-hand vehicle which will be converted into a 4x4 to be used for front-line medical use.

Julia, who runs the Exmouth St John Ambulance Badgers' group, said she hoped the target would be achieved.

"We have to keep our service as effective as it is now. Without the use of a four-wheel drive vehicle available, we cannot do our job in certain circumstances."

Julia, who has worked at St John Ambulance for 20 years, added: "We are all volunteers at the end of the day, which people must understand.

"Hopefully, people will support and help us raise money. They are costly vehicles because they are the best.

"We need them to be first-class so that, similarly, we can provide a first-class service.

"We have, at times, to turn them out at short notice - like in February when there was bad snowfall."

The Badgers group at St John Ambulance is for children from five years old and above.

The unit provides them with medical training and enjoyable activities are also held for the youngsters.

Julia said the Badgers could progress through to the adult team, and continue for as long as they wanted, once they become 18 years old.

She said: "My job is to prepare them for the adult unit.

"We have had a successful year as far as the Badgers are concerned. We managed, for instance, to get 26 children on our books. We just had 15 new members join last Tuesday.

"There are, however, lots of people in the area, who do not know we exist."

For more information on the St John Ambulance Badgers and Cadet Division, contact Julia McNally on (01395) 225125.

And, if you would like to donate money to help them reach the £40,000 target, contact Stuart Brown, superintendent at the Exmouth division, on (01395) 446708.

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