Clothes bank launched in pub car park
A FORMER nurse who led a life-saving surgery unit for victims of horrific accidents is rallying support for the Dorset Air Ambulance Service at her Sherborne pub.
Christine Booth, 55, and her partner Kevin Hall, 50, have run Skippers in Horsecastles, since March.
They decided to get behind the emergency-response team after a visitor representing the air ambulance suggested they place a clothes bank – for people to donate their old garments – in the pub's car park. The new bank was delivered on Thursday and punters can now help raise money.
Ms Booth said the air ambulance service is a cause close to her heart after seeing first-hand how their vital work makes a difference to people in desperate need of medical help.
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Working for 30 years as trauma sister at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire meant dealing daily with people in life threatening conditions, brought to the hospital by rescue services like Dorset Air Ambulance. She said the service relies on public support and donations and without it they may not be able to reach people in time to save their lives – or prevent them from losing their limbs.
She said: "Managing the operating theatres dealing with emergency patients meant I saw a lot of people coming through the door who have the air ambulance to thank for getting them there.
"It is a hugely valuable service – these people are life savers who have to face distressing situations every day and keep a cool head. These are the people who cut the injured out of cars after accidents, the people who witness incidents with multiple casualties and just have to keep on doing their job.
"But if it wasn't for people's support and donations this service would not exist."
As a designated major trauma centre receiving patients from smaller hospitals in the region, Ms Booth said the Stoke hospital was an unpredictable and sometimes distressing work place.
She said: "I loved the job, but things could change very dramatically throughout the day – something would suddenly come in and you'd have to just get on with it. Yes, the things you see can be distressing but it was the team which effectively got you through it.
"Some of it was hard and sometimes patients would die but you did what you could.
"If you needed to cry, you did it afterwards."
Ms Booth moved to the area in January and Mr Hall has lived in Sherborne for the past two years.
They have a three year tenancy at the pub and Ms Booth said the business has been going well so far.
The clothes bank will be at the far end of the car park and the couple are keen to spread the word to get local people donating possessions that they no longer need.
Dorset Air Ambulance representatives will collect the contents regularly, which will then be sold to raise funds.