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Royal visit to Crawley for official opening

HRH The Countess of Wessex officially opened the South East Coast Ambulance Service’s new Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and Headquarters.

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Crawley welcomed a member of the Royal family today (Tues 8th May) as HRH The Countess of Wessex visited the town to officially open the South East Coast Ambulance Service’s new Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and Headquarters.

Arriving by helicopter at Hazelwick school, the Countess was greeted by the head girl and boy before travelling by car to the new headquarters where she was welcomed by staff and local leaders.

HRH The Countess of Wessex meets Crawley Mayor Brian Quinn and Chief Executive of Crawley Borough Council Natalie Brahma-Pearl.

With the sun shining the Countess was greeted by a large number of staff from the new HQ, all of whom had waited patiently in the hot sun.

Crawley MP Henry Smith welcomes the Countess.

After greeting and chatting with several local dignitaries the Countess was then taken on a tour of the new facility where she was able to speak to numerous staff about the complexities of their job.

HRH The Countess of Sussex is presented with a bouquet of flowers by resource despatcher Megan Chinery.

The royal visit was very popular with staff from all departments.

SECAmb Chief Executive Daren Mochrie with HRH The Countess of Wessex next to the unveiled plaque officially opening the new HQ.

Staff began moving into the new building in May 2017 with staff from the Trust’s former EOC in Lewes the first to relocate. EOC colleagues from the Trust’s former site in Banstead in Surrey moved to the new building in September.

The impressive home to South East Coast Ambulance Service’s new Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and Headquarters in Crawley.

The moves provided greater capacity across two EOCs and ensured SECAmb is better placed to manage current and future demand.

It also meant support services were brought under one roof for the first time since the formation of SECAmb in 2006 with the merger of Kent, Surrey and Sussex ambulance services.

The centre, with SECAmb’s other EOC in Coxheath, Kent, typically handles more than 2,000 calls every day.

The new EOC is home to some 250 staff with a further 250 support staff based on the floor above.
999 calls are answered by emergency medical advisors non-geographically across the Trust’s two EOCs. Ambulances are dispatched locally from each EOC.

A team of clinicians are also on hand in each EOC to provide advice and support to patients and colleagues.

SECAmb Chief Executive Daren Mochrie said:

“I’m delighted that our new EOC and HQ was officially opened by HRH The Countess of Wessex and I pleased to be able to show her around the EOC and introduce her to staff.

Given the significance of the tremendous work which goes on in the building and in particular in the EOC itself, it is appropriate that it receives this high-profile official opening.

“While it was important that we moved to the new building and the benefits it brings, I want to pay tribute to all the staff, across every department and role who are working tirelessly day-in, day-out to help our patients.

Without them, of course, this is just another building. With them, and their dedication and professionalism, we are a service which saves lives and helps people every day.”

Lifestyle

K2 Crawley and other local leisure centres to reopen next week

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Local leisure centres in Crawley are set to reopen after being given the green light by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. 

K2 Crawley, Broadfield 3G Pitch and Pavilion and the Bewbush Centre, managed by sports and leisure operator Everyone Active in partnership with Crawley Borough Council, will reopen their doors on Wednesday 2 December following a month’s closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Government has confirmed all leisure centres across all tiers will be safe to reopen with strict operational measures in place.

However, local restrictions mean some activities are not available at some centres. Full information on how the tier system affects your local centre is available here.

Everyone Active has committed to keeping its customers safe and active, ensuring it will meet and exceed Government guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19 with the Everyone Active Pledge. Full detail on the operator’s pledge and safety measures can be found here.

While its 200 leisure centres across the country have been closed, Everyone Active has provided a comprehensive package of online workouts for people to use, along with live streamed classes across its social media pages.

Jon Hodgson, Everyone Active’s contract manager, said:

“We’re very much looking forward to reopening our centres and welcoming back the local community.

“After being closed for a month, this announcement from Government is the news the leisure industry has been eagerly awaiting.

“It is very important to give people the opportunity to resume activity and exercise in their leisure centre, particularly during the winter months, and this will go a long way to maintaining the good health of local communities.

“We would like to thank the 615,000 people across the country who signed the petition we supported to keep gyms open, which triggered a Parliamentary debate, and to acknowledge the impressive manner in which the leisure industry has pulled together.

“We would also like to thank Crawley Borough Council for their support, which has proved invaluable during this challenging year.

“Ensuring our colleagues and customers remain safe is our number one priority and we have carefully considered the strict measurements to ensure we adhere to the guidance.

“We will be contacting all customers directly over the coming days regarding the centres reopening. We look forward to welcoming everyone back and thank them for their patience.”

For further information on Everyone Active and its leisure centres, visit www.everyoneactive.com.

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