SC. NO 037944 - Who we are.

The village of Newcastleton lies in a remote valley about 20 miles north of Carlisle just over the border into Scotland in the Liddesdale Valley. It has an overall population of approximately 1600 people and covers over 400 square miles of rough border land.

In 2006 a local group, the Liddesdale Ladies Amenities Group, (LLAGs) called an open meeting in the village to discuss the closure of the Newcastleton Health Centre in the evenings, at weekends and bank holidays and the loss of a locally based ambulance.

A new group emerged and became the Newcastleton Community First Responders and was registered as a charity with OSCR.

Chairperson - P Cetoloni, Secretary - P Elliot, Treasurer -Fraser Maclean, Co-Ordinator - K Skelton.

Scottish Ambulance Service came on board and after training we had 15 responders who work in pairs and cover weekends, evenings and Bank holidays. Now in 2012 we have 14 responders.

We started running in April 2007, 18 months after the first meeting and cover around 10 miles from Kershopefoot in the South, to Hermitage Valley in the North, and Saughtree in the East.

999 calls go to call centres in  Paisley or Edinburgh, from where they dispatch and ambulance, usually from Langholm. All emergencies are taken to Carlisle.

Best Community ProjectIn October 2008, we entered the Scottish Borders Community Awards competition. We won the category of Best Community Project and along with a trophy we received the free printing of 1000 leaflets. These have been given to all households in the area.

We now have 4 responders trained to teach CPR and they are now available to give 2 hour training courses.

What are First Responders ?

First Responders are volunteer members of the community who are trained to respond to most emergency calls through the 999 system in conjunction with the ambulance service.

Responders privide immediate care to patients in rural areas where distance could delay the prompt arrival of an ambulance.

They are trained to deliver Basic Life Support and defibrillation to patients in Cardiac Arrest. Responders are based within the community in which they live. They can attend the scene of an emergency in a short time, often arriving within the first three or four minutes of a 999 call being made. In 98% of cases we are the first emergency resource to arrive at the scene.

The First Responders can then begin vital life saving first aid before the ambulance arrives, increasing the patients chances of survival.


First Responders trainingHow do we train ?

The Scottish Ambulance Service provides full training for all volunteers followed by regular training and refresher courses.

The initial training is a two day course which takes place over a full weekend. All the training is done in the form of practical work using training mannequins and training defibrillators. The trainers all act out different scenarios to show the differing types of call that can come through.

There is formal ongoing training every 3 to 6 months for all the volunteers with additional "home training" taking place constantly using the training mannequins held at the co-ordinators house and the Health Centre.

Interested in becoming a First Responder?

If you think that you could be a good First Responder and are interested in joining us, please contact the Co-ordinator, Mrs Katrina Skelton on 013873 75709 for more details.


The group is entirely self funded and we are very grateful 

to the village for the support that they give us.

We have donation boxes in six local shops and three pubs and up to our year end 2011 these have raised the sum of £447.49.

The villagers have donated over £9,000 and have enabled us to purchase 2 defibrillators. We are now almost ready to purchase a third defibrillator for the south end of the village.

Some of the things that we have done to raise funds :

Duck Race, Open Days (3 so far), Set up a web site through, Coffee Mornings (2), Clothes Sale, Raffled a bike, Produced a calendar, Displays at the Holm Show, A Fashion Show, Tea Dance, Sale of donated goods.

If you would like to send a donation please contact Mrs Katrina Skelton on 013873 75709

Cheques made payable to Newcastleton Community First Responders.

Any other enquiries should be directed to the Chairperson - Mrs P Cetoloni - 013873 75323