BEEP Doctors, a Cumbrian based charity, set themselves a huge target of raising £145,000 in 2021, which they are pleased to announce they smashed. In 2022 they have taken on an even bigger challenge of raising £250,000 to buy four new emergency vehicles, which can be used in all four corners of the county.
It was the first time in their 28-year history that BEEP Doctors has taken on such a big fundraising challenge. However, the charity has grown considerably over the past few years, and they needed to raise more money than usual for their future sustainability. When it first began, The BEEP Fund, as it was formally known, only had three doctors working in a 15-mile radius of Penrith. However, now the charity has fourteen actively responding volunteer doctors all over Cumbria. More doctors mean more equipment, more training, more medicines and specialist kit – helping them to save more lives across the county.
In 2021 the team of volunteer doctors who are on call 24/7 were called to 394 incidents. 124 of which were in Carlisle, 84 in Eden, 63 in South Lakes, 61 in Allerdale, 37 in Copeland and 4 in Barrow in Furness. They also attended 16 call outs in the Lancaster area and 2 in Scotland. 3 incidents were unrecorded.
The money raised last year bought vital equipment for the team, including seven Schiller Touch 7 Monitor/Defibrillators, plus 7 AED Defibrillators, seven Butterfly ultrasound devices, several new PAX kit bags, new PPE Uniforms (in a brand-new design) for each Doctor as well as paying for the cost of moving to new premises in Penrith. Funding for this equipment came from donations from the community as well as local and national funders such as the Hadfield Trust, Proven Family Trust, Sellafield Snowball Charity, Sir John Fisher Foundation, the Mark Benevolent Fund and The Saturday Hospital Fund.
The BEEP Doctors were also lucky enough to have a new Volvo XC60, fitted out with emergency lights, dash cams, and branded livery donated to them by Smarter Metering Services with contributions from BASICS National and the HELP Appeal.
The aim in 2022 is raise enough money to buy four new emergency vehicles: with each vehicle costing around £35-£40,000. The doctors currently use their own vehicles, which is not ideal when responding to emergency calls outs, particularly in rural Cumbria. Having dedicated emergency vehicles stationed in each area of the county would mean greater safety for the volunteer doctors when out on the road. The vehicles would be fully liveried up, have blues and twos and all the necessary equipment and medicine on board – ensuring the best possible care for patients. They are also looking to buy several ventilators and other high tech medical equipment, ensuring they bring the A&E to the patient.
In 2021 the team attended all sorts of incidents across Cumbria, 49% of which were road traffic accidents, but they were also called out to attacks by cattle, fractures, falls, assaults, stabbings, head injuries, drowning, cardiac arrest or mental health issues. They helped over 500 casualties during this time. They are called to the scene of emergencies to help assist paramedics with essential pre-hospital care, giving life saving emergency treatment before a patient is taken to hospital. Without this service, many lives would be lost.
BEEP Doctors want as many people to know about the charity as possible, as they are one of the essential emergency services in Cumbria and work closely with the Ambulance Service, Fire service, Police and Coast Guard, as well as the Great North Air Ambulance. BEEP Doctors receive no funding from the NHS so all money raised is through donations. It costs around £100,000 a year to keep the charity up and running.
In addition to donations, in 2022 the team will have charity fundraising places for the Great North Run, Gelt Gladiator, The Great Cumbria Run, the Lakeland Loop as well as other fundraising events if anyone would like to take part and help them achieve their target for this year. Can you help support the BEEP Doctors in their challenge for 2022 and get those four new vehicles?