A CROWD-FUNDING appeal to provide a Community First Responder with a dedicated car to attend emergency medical calls along the Wrexham-Shropshire border has topped £2,000 within three weeks of its launch.

Effie Cadwallader, who now volunteers for the Welsh Ambulance Service after serving a similar role with West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS), admitted she was humbled by the response.

But she moved to remind people that another £8,000 is still needed to cover the cost of buying, equipping and running a rapid response vehicle to deal with 999 alerts.

Effie said she had been heartened by the response so far.

“I want to say a huge thank you everyone who has made a donation," she said.

"Every penny counts and I never cease to be amazed by the generosity of communities in supporting First Responders.

"It’s a strange feeling to be asking people to give money towards buying something that everyone hopes will never be found parked outside their own front door, but this is a vital life-saving service and you never know when you might need it.”

Effie answered more than 3,000 calls during 15 years of volunteering with WMAS, using a designated car which was sponsored by local businesses and community donations.

Now, she needs replacement car to continue her work as part of the Wrexham Rural First Responders’ group which covers some of the same area, including her home village of St Martins, as well as surrounding communities extending to Chirk, Llangollen, the Ceiriog Valley, Overton, Penley, Bettisfield and the outskirts of Ellesmere.

Since launching her £10,000 appeal at the end of August, Effie has received donations from well-wishers ranging from £5 to £400. She aims to purchase a replacement car by Christmas and is hoping a local car dealership will come forward to help with sponsorship.

Among the latest donors are members of Ellesmere Probus Club – a social group for retired business people – who have chipped in £100.

Jeremy Stretton, its president, said: “Effie is well-known in the community for her hard work and dedication.

"She devotes many hours to being a First Responder and it is an understatement to say that she’s a real life-saver. More often than not, she is first on the scene of a medical emergency, providing crucial help until a professional ambulance crew arrives.

"She also devotes time giving talks and demonstrations to show people how to use first aid equipment such as a defibrillator. I hope that other groups similar to ours will support this appeal.”

Effie’s on-line GoFundMe page will remain open until the end of October and she is also investigating other sources of funding.

In addition to the purchase price, an extra £1,000 must be found to cover the cost of livery for the car, plus £1,000 a year for running costs, including the road fund licence, insurance, servicing and MOT.

Donations can be made via https://www.gofundme.com/f/effies-community-first-responder-car For information about donating by cheque or BACs, please contact Effie at aloevera13@outlook.com