The British Red Cross has appointed a new service manager to lead its operations in the Isle of Man.
Former police sergeant Martin Birchenough, who joined the Red Cross in 2015 in the role of patient transport co-ordinator, will now be responsible for the humanitarian charity’s staff and volunteers in the island.
Mr Birchenough, who brings a wealth of public service experience from his policing career, both in Lancashire and on the Isle of Man, is looking forward to several new Manx service developments.
He said: ’Red Cross is committed to developing our services to make a real difference to vulnerable people on the island.
’We currently provide the patient transport service transporting elderly patients into hospitals and clinics on behalf of the Ambulance service.
’We operate a mobility aids loan service and offer first aid training from our premises on the Isle of Man Business Park.
’In the spring of 2017 we are planning to launch two pilot projects aimed at supporting people to remain independent in their own homes for longer and helping them to avoid a hospital stay, wherever possible.
’When Red Cross operates in this way it helps the individuals themselves and it can also ease some of the pressures faced by our statutory partners and our wider health services.’
Mr Birchenough also praised the island’s loyal Red Cross volunteers and fundraisers.
He said: ’We have some fantastic people, really committed humanitarians among our volunteer force. We’d like to see even more people volunteering some of their free time in the service of the world’s largest humanitarian movement.
’Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer will be made most welcome.’
Mr Birchenough joined the police in 1979, serving 15 years in Lancashire Constabulary before moving the island in 1994. During his career with Isle of Man Constabulary, he became a sergeant in the roads policing unit. He retired from the Manx force in 2011.