Life saving kit for Swanage donated by Rotary at fete

Swanage and Purbeck Rotary has given £3,000 worth of medical equipment to the local community first responder team to help save lives in Swanage.

The official handover of the two responder kits took place at the Summer Community Fete and Craft Fair at Sandpit Field in Swanage on Thursday 10th August 2023.


Presenting the medical first responder kit. Left to right: Rotary president elect Maggie Hardy, first responder Lynne Stickley, Rotary president Dai Hounsell, first responder Jonathan Greetham and responder liaison officer for Purbeck Kyle Hickman

Trained volunteers

There are currently four community first responders based in Swanage and a total of 12 active responders across Purbeck, who attend emergency calls on behalf of South Western Ambulance Service (SWAST) and provide patient care, including basic life support, until the arrival of an emergency ambulance.

They are trained volunteers who willingly provide this service without pay within their community.

This new kit, which includes a portable defibrillator, will mean they are much better equipped to do their job in future.

Portable defibrillator at Swanage rotary fete

A portable defibrillator is part of the new kit

First responder kit at Swanage rotary fete

Going equipped for the job

“Satisfaction of knowing you’re providing an invaluable service”

Welcoming the donation from Swanage and Purbeck Rotary, responder liaison officer for Purbeck, Kyle Hickman said:

“We’re really grateful for the new kit as we’re looking to expand the team in Swanage. It’s a great volunteer role for the right person and while you don’t get paid, you do receive excellent training which increases your skills and provides the benefits of continuous learning.

“There’s also the satisfaction of knowing you’re providing an invaluable service to your community.

“A new course is starting in October for anyone who would like to join our team and I’d really urge anyone who’s interested to apply. It’s a very flexible role and you get a nationally recognised Level 3 first responder qualification, as well as becoming part of the SWAST family.”

Music provided throughout the afternoon

The raffle is a big draw

Raising thousands of pounds a year

Swanage and Purbeck Rotary raises thousands of pounds for good causes every year by organising fundraising events. As well as the summer fair, there’s also the Christmas market, helping Santa on his sleigh, raffles, refreshment sales and street collections.

Money raised is distributed to local charitable projects, schools, environment groups, sports clubs, and the dementia friendly group, as well as important international causes like the Ukraine refugees and the Turkey earthquake appeal. And of course, towards supporting our community first responders.

Jonathan Greetham, the Community First Responder who represented Dorset CFR’s and SWASFT at the NHS 75 service
Jonathan Greetham

One of Swanage’s community first reponders Jonathan Greetham represented Dorset community first responders and SWAST at the NHS 75 service at Westminster Abbey in London

“We realise how far we are from the big hospitals”

The newly elected Swanage and Purbeck Rotary president Dai Hounsell said:

“Living locally we realise how far we are from the big hospitals, so it’s very important to have community first responders who can get to people quickly.

“We’re delighted to support our local first responders by providing them with the latest equipment to do this important work.”

Plenty of traditional games to play

An open space in the middle of the fete created an area for socialising

Dry and mainly sunny weather

Lots of people flocked to the fete and craft fair, encouraged by the dry and mainly sunny weather.

There were lots of interesting stalls spread around Sandpit Field and for the first time a central area was created for seating which provided a sociable area for people to congregate and chat.

Dai Hounsell said:

“We’ve made a few changes this year as we like to try to continually improve what we do. The big open space in the middle has created a great buzz and we went for a shorter timescale, starting a little later at 12 noon, giving people more time to set up.

“There’s always a fantastic amount of preparation, not least in the tea tent where I understand there are 35 large home made cakes as well as lots of pots of preserves, including 15 jars of raspberry jam that were produced the day before the fete!”

Swanage rotary fete tea tent

Serving up a treat in the tea tent: Mary Pike (left), Sue Whitton (right) and Beate Willey (background)

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