Leeds volunteer street medics group closes down

A group of first aiders who patrol the city centre's party hotspots have ceased operating.

Saturday, 12th January 2019, 10:55 am
Updated Saturday, 12th January 2019, 11:09 am
North West Street Medics volunteers Sean Emmery, James Skinner and Steven Yates

The North West Street Medics announced on their Instagram account that they are discontinuing their activities due to issues with funding, seven months after they first began working in Leeds.

The group, a four-strong team of volunteers, provided care for partygoers suffering from the effects of alcohol or drug use before they could be treated by NHS staff.

Their statement read:-

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"Just so everyone is aware. We have closed our company due to funding issues. We had planned to close just after Christmas, however we stretched our final budget to cover New Year and the first week of January.We no longer have a budget to spend. We thank the public and people we have worked with as well as the WASS Partnership for continued support and co-operation together. Unfortunately everything these days is down to money and we hope the council and other services realise more needs to be done during the evening economy to keep people safe and reduce the use of other services. We hope to obtain funding to set up a new project in the summer."

Last week, Leeds City Council held a multi-agency meeting to review and assess the street medics' activities.

In November, the team spoke to the YEP about their plans to buy an old ambulance to convert into a 'booze bus' - a street clinic where revellers could be treated for minor injuries to keep them away from A&E departments. They had set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money for the project.

During the the build-up to Christmas, a YEP reporter also spent a night on patrol with the medics, who spoke about the increase in cocaine and ketamine use in bars and the need to re-educate partygoers on the dangers of heavy drinking.The North West Street Medics company is registered to a property in Harehills.