Newcastleton Community First Responders

Mrs P Cetoloni


Newcastleton Community First Responders, a registered Scottish Charity SC037944 

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

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.

Started in April 2007, 18 months after the first meeting we cover around 10 miles from Kershopefoot in the South, to Hermitage Valley in the North, and Saughtree in the East.  Scottish Ambulance Service train responders who work in pairs to cover weekends, evenings and Bank holidays.

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 provide 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 recruited from the area in which they live enabling them to attend the scene of an emergency in a short time, often arriving well before the emergency services.  First Responders can then begin vital life saving first aid before the ambulance arrives, increasing the patient’s chances of survival.

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, donation boxes are placed in local shops and pubs.  The village donated over £9,000 enabling us to purchase 2 defibrillators.