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Newark Community First Aid opens treatment centre at showground

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The official opening ceremony of Newark Community First Aid’s £120,000 treatment centre at Newark Showground has taken place.

It was opened by the new Mayor of Newark Laurence Goff, who is also a community first aider, during the Nottinghamshire County Show.

“The new centre has been designed to allow our volunteers to provide high quality care while providing them with excellent welfare facilities,” said Philip Jessop, Newark Community First Aid’s operations manager.

Tony Strawson, of Hexgreave Estate, Laurence Goff, and Ian Pell. (56672549)
Tony Strawson, of Hexgreave Estate, Laurence Goff, and Ian Pell. (56672549)

“I am sure this new building provides some of the best first aid facilities at an events centre in Britain.”

Among those at the opening was Ian Pell, who was resuscitated by the first aiders at a showground event in 2020, and has since backed the campaign for new facilities.

He said: “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Newark Community First Aid ­— they brought me back.

First aid centre.
First aid centre.

“I am very happy to be here today for the opening. Something like this is really important. You don’t realise just how important it is until you need it.”

Also at the opening was Mr Tony Strawson, of Newark and Nottinghamshire Agricultural Society, who, with his brother David, donated to the fundraising appeal.

For the past nine years, the first aiders have been housed in a portable cabin that was far from ideal for its purpose and had deteriorated further during the covid lockdowns.

After getting approval from the agricultural society trustees, a fundraising campaign was launched in May 2021 for a new treatment centre.

“Working with Concept Cabins of Ilkeston, the modular building has overcome the problems of the old first aid post,” said Mr Jessop.

“It has disabled and ambulance stretcher access. To minimise infection, it has easy clean surfaces from floor to ceiling and vastly improved ventilation in line with coronavirus guidelines.

“A fully accessible patient toilet, air conditioning, and improved lighting also improve the patient experience.

“With our volunteers sometimes covering events 24 hours a day for a week at a time we needed to provide good welfare facilities, and this has been achieved with a rest area, kitchen, toilet, shower, and office.”

Mr Jessop thanked all those individuals and organisations who had donated to the appeal for the new building.

During the first day of operation at the county show 20 patients were treated in the First Aid Centre for a range of minor injuries and illnesses.

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