Judy Theobald worked as a newspaper reporter for 30 years, plus magazine editor and BBC radio presenter as well as having been a police officer, freelance writer and theatrical landlady. Not remotely educational or instructive, the talk (with a few poems thrown in) was a fun stroll through a long life of things not having quite worked out as they were meant to. Everyone in the hall laughed a lot - she really was amusing and full of fun. She was the author of the poems - another string to her bow!
After our A.G.M. on September 15th we had a visit from Paul Nelhams who is one of the Hayling Community Responders, volunteers working for the South Central Ambulance Service. Unfortunately, at the time of our talk there were only 5. The responders have been running for 20 years and are responsible for the funding and installation of 20 defibrillators across Hayling Island, they look after and check them each month. This is life saving equipment used in the cases of cardiac arrest.
He went on to tell us that we can all make a difference in a person's outcome after a cardiac arrest, on finding someone in trouble, by remembering to first call an ambulance whose staff will tell you where the nearest machine is, and a code which will unlock it. While someone locates the machine, someone else will prepare the patient by remembering ABC:
- Airway - tilt the head to clear the airway
- Breathing - is the patient breathing? If not...
- Compressions - interlocking your fingers and placing your hands in the centre of the chest. Push down hard and release twice per second, helped if you do this while singing 'Nellie the Elephant'.
The ambulance call handler will help by talking to you until a medic arrives.
If you have a defibrillator, switch it on and it will tell you what to do. Carry on until a paramedic arrives or the person shows signs of life.
It was very interesting and I’m sure we all felt a little more confident than at the beginning.
After 26 years in the military, Lt Col Jeremy Prescott went on to start the Sacrifice and Remembrance Charity which was set up to help ex military people who were disabled or suffering from combat stress. They have raised £24,000 so far. This has been achieved through the sale and promotion of the red poppies.
Jeremy told us the history of the poppy in a very moving and interesting way. A young soldier, called John McCrae in the First World War observed a devastated field of battle where a symbol of life, a lone poppy, bloomed and that inspired him. He wrote the poem which became so famous, 'In Flanders Field'. It was published in a newspaper in 1915.
Cecil Roughton who was fighting in the trenches in France in 1916 when he picked the oldest known First World War poppy which went on public display in 2012. He had given the poppy to his girlfriend in 1923.
An American lady called Moina Michael decided to promote the poppy as a flower of remembrance and bought 24 silk poppies which she sold for a donation. A French lady called Anna Guerin travelled throughout America and met French widows and orphans. She encouraged them to make paper poppies and she sold them to the British Legion.
Major George Howson, once demobbed, managed to acquire a grant of £2,000 from the British Legion. He set up a poppy factory where he employed disabled ex-veterans.
Nowadays the sale of poppies is extremely successful and has led to wonderful displays such as the creation of the Field of Remembrance outside Westminster Abbey on the Thursday before remembrance Sunday or the Field of Red at the Tower of London's moat. 890,000 poppies fill the space!