St John Ambulance is the UK’s leading provider of first aid
training. As a charity, our volunteers provide vital first aid
cover for the public ‒ at national events like the London Marathon,
and locally at football matches and village fêtes. St John
Ambulance is also a youth organisation: more than half of our
23,000 volunteers are under 25.
Our volunteers strive to ensure that anyone who is sick or hurt
will receive first aid and that no one will suffer for the lack of
a trained first aider. Our proud heritage goes all the way back to
11th century Jerusalem, where the first Knights of St John set up a
hospital to care for sick pilgrims.
Continuing through revolts and revolutions, war and peace, the
story of St John crosses the centuries and shows how we have
maintained our caring role to the present day. The eight-pointed
cross on our volunteers’ uniform is the symbol worn by the knights
who provided free medical care in that first hospital in Jerusalem.
St John Ambulance in the 21st century is a modern and dynamic
charity, but our vital work is underpinned by this long and
If you’d like to find out more about the history of St John
Ambulance please explore the timeline below, or visit our museum
to lean more of the fascinating story of the Order of St John.
Explore the timeline