2017 marks 140 years since St John Ambulance was founded to create a nation of life savers. Established over 70 years before the NHS, the first aid charity has helped millions of people through delivering and teaching the simple, yet incredibly important, skill of first aid.
Since 1877, St John Ambulance has trained hundreds of thousands of people in the workplace, schools and wider community, alongside providing first aid at some of the nation’s most memorable historical events, and supporting the emergency services during times of war, terror and social unrest.
Over the last 140 years the charity has evolved in to a life saving organisation that is part of the fabric of the nation and volunteers in Barrow and Ulverston are opening their doors for local residents to learn about volunteering opportunities with the charity.
Open days are being held at St John Ambulance on The Strand, Barrow on Saturday 2 September between 09.00 and 15.00 and at St John Ambulance, the Ellers, Ulverston on Wednesday 6 September between 19.00 and 21.00 and current opportunities include volunteer first aiders, youth leaders, Cadets (aged 10-18) and Badgers who can join from the age of just seven years old.
Ian Cameron, Area Manager for the charity in South Cumbria said, ‘Learning first aid is one of the single most important things you can do in your life. You never know when you may need it – at work, at home, in school, playing sport – you just don’t know. With basic first aid skills, anyone can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved. Our volunteers receive free basic training in first aid and there are lots of opportunities to develop specialised skills for specific roles. I’ve been a volunteer with St John Ambulance for many years now and there really is no greater feeling than knowing you have the skills, and confidence, to really make a difference when it matters most.’
Terri-Ann McGill is the Unit Manager for the Badgers in Barrow, she said; ‘We have an exciting new programme starting for our Badgers and in addition to learning first aid skills they can take part in a whole range of subjects from learning about the environment to creative skills and nutrition. Everything we do with our young people is about learning and developing in a fun and safe environment.’
The charity has a variety of volunteer roles in the local area and its first aid volunteers are a familiar sight at community events in the area such as sporting events and music concerts.