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Olympic Torch Bearers

Two inspirational ambulance crew members have been given a once in a lifetime opportunity to be torch bearers in the Olympic torch relay.

Jeannette Yeoell

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust’s (SECAmb) Hastings Paramedic Practitioner, Jeannette Yeoell and Clinical Team Leader, Paul Everest, will be among the 8,000 people to carry the torch in a relay across the UK ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games in July and August.

The pair’s success comes after their nominations were reviewed by one of 12 regional selection panels which looked for 2,012 individuals with the most inspirational stories of personal achievement and/or contribution to the local community.

Jeannette was chosen for her heroism, when in November 2009 she broke down the door to a burning house in St Leonard’s on Sea to rescue a badly burned elderly woman.

The SECAmb Paramedic Practitioner said: “I’m delighted to be part of the relay and to hold the torch in honour of all ambulance staff who do a fantastic job. And I would also like to thank everyone for their support.”

A seasoned marathon runner, Jeannette competed in the first-ever UK women’s marathon in the 1970s and has completed numerous marathons including London, New York and Boston.

Paul Everest

Paul was nominated for helping people with special needs and learning difficulties to take up judo, having spent 25 years in the sport.

He not only runs his own club, Westerleigh Judokwai, but has been Team GB’s judo coach for people with special needs and learning difficulties for the last 10 years.

He was instrumental in getting the British Judo Association to ensure affiliated clubs allowed people with special needs and learning disabilities to join their judo clubs.

Paul said the euphoria at being chosen for the relay was ‘unbelievable’ and added: “I feel very honoured to be taking part. I believe I have been selected to represent my club and everyone associated with it and the sport. And if this helps to raise awareness, then it has to be a good thing.”

Jeannette and Paul will be running with the torch through Bexhill on Tuesday, 17 July.

Clinical Operations Manager, Tim Fellows said: “I’m very pleased for Jeannette and Paul, I’ll be there to cheer them on. This is great news for the ambulance service. I also think that locally, people will be pleased to know that Jeanette and Paul have been chosen.”

Also picked to be a torch bearer is community first responder (CFR), Andrew Clark, from Horsham.

Andrew was nominated through his company, LloydsTSB, for his commitment and dedication to the voluntary scheme since joining the Horsham and Southwater scheme in 2008. In 2011 Andrew attended 132 calls and spent nearly 700 hours either responding to emergencies or raising funds for the scheme. As well as responding, Andrew helps out with the team’s training nights and mentoring new members.

Marc Harrold, the scheme’s team leader, said: “I am delighted that Andrew has been recognized for his hard work and dedication to community responding and that he will be representing CFRs at this national event.”


Andrew will be running with the torch in Weymouth on Friday, 13 July.

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