Late night first aid at Reading Minster

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A SERVICE that provides first aid and advice to revellers in Reading on Friday and Saturday nights is now permanently based at the Minster Church of St Mary the Virgin.
The church had already launched Sanctuary in partnership with Reading Street Pastors, offering a space to chill-out for those who may need refuge during a night out in the hectic town centre.

Now the First Stop, which used to operate from a bus in Broad Street, has moved to the Minster. Since it was launched in 2013 First Stop has helped over 1,200 people with physical injuries or in emotional distress, with 91 per cent of these requiring some form of medical assessment or treatment. Eighty three per cent of the people treated at First Stop would have otherwise needed an ambulance call out or trip to Accident and Emergency. It is estimated the service has saved the NHS £164,000.

It is run by Reading Borough Council in partnership with Thames Valley Police, the NHS, Street Pastors, Reading Buses and Reading Voluntary Action. It is staffed by trained first aiders and medics from the South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.

The launch night of First Stop at Reading Minster in February 2017.

The Revd Stephen Pullin, the Vicar of Reading Minster, said: “We are keen to make the best use of the Minster to serve and support people in the town and we’re looking forward to joining forces with the First Stop team. Our current weekend Sanctuary project, run by volunteers, has proved extremely successful.”

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