A Derry taxi driver who helps save lives through his work as a first responder has been featured in a new campaign celebrating the inspirational people and projects who do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding.
Sean Dillon’s exploits has been viewed thousands of times online after featuring in the National Lottery Legend series which has been specially developed in partnership with the British Film Institute (BFI).
Foyle First Responders used National Lottery funding awarded to the North West Taxi Proprietors to train and equip taxi drivers to deliver first aid or medical assistance in emergency situations.
Volunteers and drivers like Sean are often first on the scene of emergencies and their intervention can save vital minutes and lives before an ambulance arrives.
Taxi drivers in Derry were first prompted to act in response to the high incidences of suicides in the city, with drivers like Sean trained to talk to those in distress and carrying throw-lines in their vehicles. The first responder scheme built on this initiative.
Sean’s story was selected by young Derry film maker Ronan Corrigan and his partner Hope Kemp, graduates of the BFI’s educational programmes which are supported by National Lottery funding.
Their film, which followed Sean during a night’s work in Derry and focusses on tackling mental health issues in the city, was premiered at a special screening at the BFI Southbank attended by BAFTA award winning director Lucy Cohen, Dunkirk actor Charley Palmer Rothwell, leading film critic Rhianna Dhillon and a host of leading figures from the film industry.
“I loved growing up in Derry and I am very proud to come from here,” said Ronan.
“However, the story of people jumping from the bridges after nights out is one that repeats itself far too often. I had wanted to make a film about the topic for a while but just did not know how.
“But when we met Sean, his story of everyday people tackling issues like the city’s mental health crisis in any way they can, was one I thought had to be told.”