Actress Emily Blunt supports St John Ambulance at premiere of her new film 'The Young Victoria’

Emily Blunt and St John volunteer at her film premiere of The Young Victoria

Actress Emily Blunt lent her support to raise awareness of the importance of first aid when she attended The Young Victoria film premiere in the Odeon Leicester Square on Tuesday night in aid of St John Ambulance.

A life saved

She said: 'I'm delighted to help raise awareness of St John Ambulance. Since being set up during Queen Victoria's reign, they’ve worked tirelessly to ensure everyone has access to first aid treatment. Their 43,000 volunteers are committed to training, caring and saving lives at events across the country, and the work they do in supporting the emergency services at times of crisis is invaluable. As the nation’s leading first aid charity, we should all be proud to support St John Ambulance.’

The actress met Richard Coleman a volunteer first aider for St John Ambulance who helped save the life of 14-year-old Chris Stewart, two years ago after a horrific car accident. Richard, who coordinated the rescue worked with the other volunteers to hold Chris's head in position for 90 minutes while he was cut from the car. Chris suffered an internal decapitation, where his skull had been wrenched from his spine, and only five people in the world have ever survived from this condition. The first aid care he’d received from the St John Ambulance crew prevented him from suffering any permanent spinal damage.

Richard said: 'Coming to the film premiere and meeting Emily Blunt has been a great experience. But there's no greater reward than knowing that Chris is now leading a healthy, active life.'

St John Ambulance has a long association with Queen Victoria as it was in 1888 that the Queen herself granted the Order of St John a Royal Charter in recognition of its pioneering first aid work and the establishment of St John Ambulance.  The charity shares funds raised at the premiere with Children in Crisis.

The Young Victoria will be on general release from the 6 March.