A TEAM of lifesavers have launched a new campaign to get more members, particularly among parents who could volunteer while their children go to school.

The Community First Responder team in Bransgore, who cover Burley, Bransgore and Sopley, are often the first on the scene in an emergency.

Parents with children at Bransgore and Burley primary schools have received letters from the group asking them, or grandparents or other family members, to consider becoming life-saving responders.

The group has also put posters on notice boards, in post offices, pubs and clubs, shops and businesses and other suitable venues.

Jackie Russell, Deputy Group Co-ordinator said, "We have a number of reasons for the campaign.

“We desperately need volunteers who can give us a few hours a month to bolster our team in Bransgore, where most volunteers live.

“But in Burley we need the community to come forward and volunteer so that we can provide a faster service than we can from Bransgore. In cases of cardiac arrest minutes really do matter if we are to improve the chances of someone surviving.

“We already have the equipment for those in Burley, we just need some residents to come forward and give a few hours.

“Without volunteers from that community we cannot achieve a faster response. In Sopley, the recent flooding in Derritt Lane, Stoney Lane, Avon Causeway and near the primary school has increased response times for the emergency services.

“The flooding now seems to happen each year so we must do our best to find a solution. We think that solution is to have a few residents from Sopley and Ripley as part of our group helping with all calls, but ready to focus on Sopley when we get the adverse weather again."

Group spokesman Mike Jukes said, ”I would invite anyone thinking about joining or keen to know more, to leave their name and number on our answerphone and one of us will ring back.

“There is no commitment and we can explain all you need to know. It is not in the group's interest to recruit those who decide later that it's not for them and leave after some months, or don't do any hours.

“For that reason we are happy to answer any questions to make sure this type of voluntary work is for you. It is very rewarding and fulfilling and most people thoroughly enjoy it."

Anyone interested in becoming a Community First Responder in Bransgore, Burley, Sopley or Ringwood or elsewhere in Hampshire can call 0844 500 9699 or email enquiries@bransgorecommunityresponders.org.uk or go to www.bransgorecommunityresponders.org.uk.