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First Aid Awards winners

UK first aid heroes announced

St John Ambulance celebrated inspirational first aid success stories at its inaugural St John Ambulance First Aid Awards, held at the Lancaster London hotel on Wednesday 30 November, in association with The Mail on Sunday and HSW magazine.

HRH The Countess of Wessex was in attendance and presented James Mavin and Michael Purvis with the prestigious Guy Evans Award for a particularly inspirational act of first aid, after they came to the aid of a collapsed gentleman.

Young people commended

Guy Evans Award winners

The award is in memory of 17-year-old Guy, who may have lived if he’d received first aid. On receiving the award Michael said: ‘This is fantastic. We were so pleased to be able to save somebody with our first aid skills, and we’re amazed that we’ve now won an award for it.’ James added: ‘We were just doing what we’ve been trained to do at St John Ambulance. We’re both very honoured and will remember this fantastic evening in London for the rest of our lives.’

Guy’s mother, Beth Chesney Evans, who presented the award alongside Her Royal Highness, commented: ‘It was an absolutely fantastic evening and I am grateful for HRH The Countess of Wessex’s support. I’m thrilled that The Guy Evans Award went to 15 year-old James and Michael; it’s a fitting tribute that two young people were voted to win this award. They go to show that no matter what age you are, you can learn the skills to save a life. It goes without saying that all of the finalists displayed tremendous achievements and they should all be very proud of themselves.'

An inspirational evening 

Trophies also went to a pair of Tesco workers who resuscitated two shoppers within a two week period and a Met Police worker who has championed first aid in the force. Organisations as diverse as Lafarge Aggregates, Simplyhealth UK and Blackpool’s Sandcastle Waterpark also won awards for excellence in first aid standards. Sponsorship was provided by BTB Mailflight Ltd.

The evening, hosted by BBC newsreader Sophie Raworth, who has herself benefitted from first aid, honoured a number of individuals, businesses and communities across the UK for their commitment to being the difference between a life lost and a life saved.

Other award winners included London Fire Brigade, Manchester’s Museum of Science & Industry, Moors Valley Country Park and many more. 3 Trees Community Support was recognised as Overall Workplace of the Year for what the judges said was an 'inspiring' submission. The company has trained 100% of its staff, equipped them with personal first aid kits and then taken first aid skills to hard-to-reach groups in the community.

Support for the awards

The awards received the support of a number of well-known faces including wilderness survival expert Ray Mears, who gave first aid to a fellow crew member when he was involved in a helicopter accident during filming, presenters Matthew Wright and Suzi Perry and Dr Christian Jessen.

Each year up to 150,000 people die in situations where first aid could have given them the chance to live. St John Ambulance wants to put an end to these needless deaths and encourage everyone to have the skills to save a life. These awards helped to raise awareness of the importance of first aid and celebrate those who have put their knowledge to use.

Sue Killen, CEO of St John Ambulance, said: ‘We were proud and delighted to be able to reward so many outstanding organisations with the St John Ambulance First Aid Awards. These awards are so important in recognising the achievements of those who champion first aid – in the workplace or in public - and heroes who have been the difference between a life lost and a life saved.’

Read full details on the winners and how to enter next year.