Fundraiser to ensure first aid help on hand

A SPONSORED cycle ride is taking place in July with the funds raised being used to help provide prompt first aid assistance for people who need it in Wells city centre.

Angela Cussell, who takes over as President of Wells Rotary Club on July 1, is organising the event. She will be cycling 414 miles from Wells to Durham with her husband Richard and three friends, accompanied by two other Rotarians in the support van.

Funds raised will be used to provide first aid equipment in premises along Wells High Street, and training by St John Ambulance for volunteers in the city’s shops and offices so that they are ready to help people should the need arise.

“We hope to raise funds to provide training and equipment throughout the city in order to confidently assist anyone who falls for whatever reason in our high streets,” said Angela.

“Nearly every time I walk through the town I witness someone falling. I actually helped someone today as they stepped into the road and misjudged the distance between the water conduits and the road.”

Angela also has a more personal reason for wanting to do something after needing assistance when her then 11-month-old grandson started convulsing in his pushchair as she was walking him back from the park in Wells.

A passer-by dialled 999, but eventually, with the help of a retired doctor and two community police officers, Angela was directed to the local health centre for her grandson to be seen, and he quickly recovered from what she was told was a febrile seizure.

She now wants to put in place help for anyone else who may need assistance in Wells High Street. “The idea is to get targeted training via St John Ambulance centred on being able to assess if someone needs an ambulance or simply to be moved to a safe place while they recover. We hope many of the shops and offices in the High Street will be able to put forward a volunteer and we will supply as much basic equipment to be on hand as possible.

“We want to get to a stage where if there is an incident someone will know where a first aider is and the equipment needed to provide the basics. In doing this we hope to take undue pressure off 999, the Ambulance Service and A&E.”

Wells Rotary Club raised funds for defibrillators five years ago when Richard, Angela and friends cycled 250 miles from Wells Cathedral to Notre-Dame Cathedral.

This time they are cycling from St Cuthbert’s Church to Durham Cathedral (the Church of St Cuthbert), an appropriate journey in the Coronation year as the Bishop of Bath & Wells and the Bishop of Durham stood either side of the King at the Coronation.

They are cycling the 414 miles over the course of a week in the second week of July. They undertook a training ride from Wells to Gloucester in June – and found themselves cycling through heavy rain and thunderstorms, and suffering three punctures.

Donations for the Wells to Durham ride can be made via the link or by sending a cheque made out to Wells Rotary Club to Chubb Bulleid Solicitors, c/o Richard Cussell, 7 Market Place, Wells, Somerset, BA5 2RJ.