A pilot Support Services Roadshow has been held by TASC The Ambulance Staff Charity with the aim of providing valuable back-up to ambulance staff based in the Midlands region.

The event, held at New Hall Hotel, in Sutton Coldfield, near Birmingham, on Thursday 15 November, was aimed at making the process of accessing quick support both simple and effective.

During the course of the roadshow a variety of qualified professionals were on hand to provide one-to-one sessions for ambulance staff, offering confidential support, advice and information to those in need.

As this was a pilot roadshow, it was only available to ambulance staff in the Midlands, specifically those working for East Midlands Ambulance Service, West Midlands Ambulance Service, and independent ambulance companies within the Midlands. However, further sessions will be held in other parts of the country in 2019.

Angie Crashley, Support Services Manager at TASC, said: “Everyone needs a bit of extra support now and then, and sometimes all it takes is a quick chat with a professional to get you back on track. That’s why we decided to pilot this event. We are delighted that so many ambulance staff were able to visit the roadshow and reach out to TASC for support and advice on a whole range of issues and services that we provide, particularly Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, debt management, bereavement and suicide support.”

The pilot Support Services Roadshow followed on from a number of ‘surgeries’ held across Wales in January this year. TASC is now going back out on the road after listening and responding to feedback and changing needs by taking services out to where staff are.

Among the organisations represented by professionals at New Hall Hotel were The Red Poppy Company, which provides trained and experienced counsellors offering support over the effects of work-related stress, personal stress and trauma. Support sessions consisted of ‘Rewind Treatment’ a proven, effective, safe, and non-drugs based model of counselling support for those affected by trauma of any kind.

Auriga has 20 years’ experience in helping people to reduce their financial hardship. Their counsellors are expert in providing welfare and debt advice, budgeting advice, and benefits checks, as well as the areas of appeals and tribunals where necessary.

Cruse Bereavement Care, which is the leading national charity for bereaved people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, offers support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies.

Anyone seeking support is asked to contact TASC on 0800 1032 999 or email support@theasc.org.uk. More info about the full range of support services provided by TASC, including physical rehabilitation and welfare advice, is available by visiting www.theasc.org.uk.
For regular updates, follow TASC on Twitter (@TASCharity) and Facebook (@TASC The Ambulance Staff Charity).

Running in parallel to the pilot Support Services Roadshow, TASC also delivered its first ever Peer Support Volunteer training at New Hall Hotel.
The half-day training course was aimed at equipping TASC Peer Support Volunteers with an in-depth understanding of the services that TASC can provide in order that they may be able to fulfil their Volunteer role more effectively.

In addition, it sought to enable Peer Support Volunteers to offer initial support on behalf of TASC to colleagues in times of need; help them deal more effectively with difficult conversations; and provide the tools needed to support colleagues through listening, sharing experiences and signposting to TASC’s Support Services team.

During the half-day sessions, experts from The Red Poppy Company, Auriga, and Cruse Bereavement Care spoke to attendees on the training course about TASC’s mental health, debt management, bereavement and suicide support services. There were also presentations from Marieanne Curtis, Volunteer Coordinator at TASC, and Angie Crashley, TASC’s Support Services Manager.

Marieanne said:

“We are very grateful to all our volunteers for everything they do to promote our work, and it’s exciting to have now launched this new Peer Support Volunteer role to add to the ways in which ambulance staff can help us to support more people in their time of need.”

Anyone wanting to volunteer for TASC is urged to visit www.theasc.org.uk/volunteer or email Marieanne at volunteering@theasc.org.uk, or call 02477 987 922.
For general enquiries, call 02477 987 922, email enquiries@theasc.org.uk or visit www.theasc.org.uk

Register to become a TASC volunteer