Christian Ambulance Network
We don’t always hear about it in the news, but Christian Workplace Groups and Christian networks are continually being set up all over the UK. Simon King tells us how a small group of staff have recently set up a Christian network in the Ambulance Service.
I’ve been working for the Ambulance Service for 27 years and I am currently a manager in the East of England Ambulance Service.
Setting up a Christian Network had been on my mind a long time, so I sounded out this idea with a few of my colleagues in the Ambulance Service. I also contacted the Christian Police Association to get some advice and learn from their experiences.
Around Easter 2017 the Christian Ambulance Network (CAN) was launched, initially involving a few people that I knew. The team came together and we developed some initial objectives for CAN. We tried to keep them simple and easily understandable.
CAN has been set up by ambulance staff for ambulance staff, students and volunteers and aims to:
Support and encourage Christians in the ambulance service
Present the Christian faith as current, relevant and entirely compatible with life in the ambulance service
There are currently 13 regional ambulance services in the UK and we’re keen to have members from all them, so I spoke to our Trust (East of England) and they offered to publicise CAN. As soon as the Trust actioned this, our network went from 10 to 25 members overnight. That was four weeks ago and now we have 35 members from almost every part of the country with almost 100 followers on Twitter. Whilst our numbers are still small, the support for CAN has been overwhelming!
We have two Facebook groups. One which is open to anyone to view and the other is closed for our members to join, talk freely and get support via that forum. At the moment Twitter and Facebook are our only publicity, although Premier Radio have even been in touch.
We recognise the network is still in its infancy. In particular, we are still in that phase of finding people. Our arrangements remain very informal and we are learning a great deal as we grow and develop. In particular, never a day goes by when we don’t receive God’s encouragement and I am reminded of this by someone who joined us from the North East Ambulance Service. He said, ‘I'm pretty sure I'm the only Christian here,’ and my response was, ‘you can't be.’ This is just the scenario where CAN is able help, linking Christians throughout the ambulance service, providing support and encouragement to Christians, so that they know they really are not alone!”
Please pray for Christians in the ambulance service with their unique blend of joys and challenges.
If you would like to find out more about the Christian Ambulance Network, contact Simon via email@example.com