Skip to main content

Volunteer response team drive NHS staff to work through heavy snow and ice


During the snowy conditions a 4x4 volunteer group helped over 100 members of essential NHS staff get to work safely. 

Volunteers from the charity 4x4 Response Wales deployed volunteers to assist critical NHS and care staff from Betsi Cadwaladr University Heath Board (BCUHB) to get to and from work and enabling home visits to patients. 

The health board has an agreement with the 4x4 Response Wales group as part of its Adverse Weather Plan, so that the specially trained team is able to step in and support staff 24/7 every day throughout the year, to ensure no essential shifts are missed due to adverse weather.  

Michelle Greene, East Integrated Health Community Director, said: “I would like to thank the response team and all of its volunteers who helped our staff get to work safely, as well as those they helped get home too.  

“The volunteers ensured our district nurses see that patients had their vital medication, and other needs met to keep them safe at home during the snow. This invaluable support ensures vital services across North Wales are not interrupted and that our staff remain safe.  

“A big thank you to all our staff too, and those who came in on their days off to see patients, showcasing our staff's dedication to patients and each other." 

During the snowy period last week the charity’s volunteers were working late nights and early mornings receiving over 250 requests for assistants over two days, deploying 14 different responders, helping over 100 health and care workers both to and from work. 

Vernon Turnbull, Planning Officer & North Wales Incident Controller, from 4x4 Response Wales, said: said: “We are proud to ensure that we can respond to requests for assistance from our emergency service partners so that communities get the support that they need whenever necessary, whether that be for adverse weather or other emergencies. 

“Our drivers are DBS checked and specially trained to drive their own vehicles in adverse weather such as snow, ice and floods, as well as advanced off-road training, navigation and communications, first aid, risk assessments and water and flood awareness. They carry a full range of emergency and survival equipment to make them resilient if conditions deteriorate to ensure the safety of our volunteers and everyone we support.” 

4x4 Response Wales is largely funded by its members, with some grants for training and equipment.  

The charity has been shortlisted for the Your Community, Your Choice initiative, and needs the public votes to win a grant for a new community support trailer, which will host a communication system to give them as much needed communication links on a 24/7 basis even in remote areas. 

Also on board will be facilities to offer hot food and drinks to communities in need of support during an emergency incident, to recharge their mobile devices and send and receive messages to family members. The Community Support Trailer will be an invaluable tool to help local communities in emergencies and power-outages. To vote in this year’s Your Community, Your Choice initiative click here.