VOLUNTEER first responders are used to being first on the scene to help save lives but in the current pandemic they are also protecting their frontline colleagues.

Little Lever father and daughter Trevor and Nicola Williams are among a band of dedicated people giving up their time to put together packs of PPE together for paramedics throughout Greater Manchester to grab and go as they are called out to deal with emergencies.

And the volunteers are also helping raise spirits by driving a fleet of mobile tuck shops to A&E departments in the region, stocked with free drinks and goodies donated by grateful members of the public for frontline NHS staff.

Before coronavirus struck trained volunteer first responders were often called out by the ambulance service if someone in their community required help fast. They stepped in until paramedics arrived.

And they were determined to continue playing a role when the pandemic arrived and they realised there was a huge task to help keep their paramedic colleagues safe.

Trevor, aged 58 and Nicola, 28, who normally run their own first aid training business, spend several days a week at Bury ambulance station packing up to 1,000 bags of PPE a day ready for paramedics to use.

"The reaction from the crews is very, very appreciative," said Trevor. "At the end of the day we are still helping them to save lives and keeping them nice and safe. "The whole idea about first responders is we help our communities and, because we can't do it as we would normally do, this is another way of giving something back."

So many members of the public want to help by donating to the welfare buses that a Justgiving page has been set up. It can be reached at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/help-our-heros