IRA bomb victim driving ambulance to help NHS
By Michael McHugh, PA
A victim of an IRA bombing which devastated London’s docklands is using a donated ambulance to support the vulnerable during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The converted vehicle will provide essential supplies to those who are self-isolating and will also be equipped to deal with medical emergencies, although it is run by volunteers.
The service will help anybody needing it during the battle against the infection.
Jonathan Ganesh said: “The NHS saved my life due to the horrific injuries I sustained from a terrorist bomb in 1996.
“I have never forgotten the overwhelming medical care and support that I received from the NHS that undoubtedly saved my life.”
He was badly injured during the London Docklands IRA bombing in February 1996, which killed two people.
Mr Ganesh is trained in first aid and will be one of the drivers of the vehicle.
He is president of the Docklands Victims Association (DVA) and its members have registered with the Your NHS Needs You volunteering programme to relieve pressure on the health service.
The DVA has for the past 24 years supported all victims of terrorism and other vulnerable groups within society.
Mr Ganesh has been an international aid worker for number of years, previously during global crises in Thailand.
He said: “I and countless others throughout the UK owe the NHS a tremendous debt of gratitude.
“Therefore, I’m so pleased to receive this ambulance today as we have previously been using our own vehicles to help those in need.
“This new vehicle will allow us to expand our services during this national emergency.
“It is acts of kindness and humanity such as these which illustrates that we will prevail against this deadly virus by working together.”
The vehicle will also transport patients home after discharge from hospital and will carry medical equipment and supplies between NHS services and sites.
It was donated by Elite Support Services Ltd, a facilities management company in London, and presented by DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson.
Company representative Bala Papiah said: “We are very pleased to supply this ambulance to support the DVA’s work in helping those impacted by Covid-19.
“Elite Support Services will continue to do all we can to support those working tirelessly to prevent the spread of this virus.”