The Ambulance Wish Foundation is a registered charity which aims to provide a specially adapted ambulance and crew to transport terminally ill people to an area of personal significance for a last wish.
One of the Association members, Dr Judith Tobin, is a trustee of the organisation and is looking urgently for volunteers to drive and escort patients.
This initiative was inspired by a similar organisation in the Netherlands – a video about the man who started it can be accessed here.
There is already an Israeli version of the charity – Rabbanit Kaplan (formerly of Hampstead Garden United Synagogue) reported that four days before his death her father was taken from a hospice to his grandson’s wedding. You can watch the wedding video.
In the UK funds have been donated to pay for the ambulance – but there are not enough volunteers to run it.
This is resourced from the Jewish community, but the service is available to everyone in the UK who needs it – irrespective of age, gender, culture, race or creed.
The charity has provided the following information about it’s work:
• The Ambulance is not an emergency vehicle – no blue lights. However, because it states clearly that it is an “ambulance” on its side, the charity has to provide emergency trained volunteers for each journey.
• The people being transported will primarily not be for resuscitation in the event of collapse. If they are for resuscitation, they will have to bring their own trained personnel.
• The volunteers need to have a DBS, to be trained in manual handling, first aid (including CPR), safeguarding and safe ambulance driving techniques.
• There is an indemnity plan in place to cover volunteers.
• In an emergency, or if the Ambulance is “flagged down” volunteers are instructed to pull over and dial 999.
• There is a defibrillator on board and volunteers need to be able to use it if required.
With the help of the US Chesed organisation, the Foundation has recruited a young Paramedic, Saul Gaunt, who is a trainer for both the London Ambulance Service and Hatzala, and he has devised a training programme for Ambulance Wish Foundation volunteers to get up to speed / update with these skills.
To contact Dr Tobin with any queries, and / or to volunteer, please call her on mobile number 07712107333.
Dr Tobin, recently contributed a blog to Dying Matters about the Ambulance Wish Foundation UK which can be accessed here.