St John Ambulance is one of 13 organisations selected to take part in the Second Half Fund. The Second Half Fund is a fund from innovation foundation Nesta and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) that will support the growth of innovations that mobilises the time and talents of people aged 50+ to help others.

We're using the fund to set up a Community Advocate programme. Volunteers in this programme will raise awareness of first aid in their local communities, particularly supporting vulnerable groups to access first aid skills. These groups have been identified as vulnerable by the World Health Organisation, and include parts of England that have higher rates of deprivation. If you are part of a community group that would benefit from learning first aid, please find out more.

Of the 740 volunteers that St John Ambulance will recruit, 593 will be aged over 50 years of age and above. This is because the project will specifically tap into the time and talents of older people – but any volunteer aged over 18 can join.

The Community Advocate project will reach 328,000 people through 13,120 events, such as workshops and community events. We'll engage 13,400 people through first aid workshops and ensure 9,700 people from vulnerable groups are taught life saving skills.

With the help of funding, the programme will aim to deliver:

  • increased access to first aid information and training to priority individuals and their communities
  • stronger more resilient communities, with more people equipped with the knowledge and confidence to give first aid treatment when needed
  • empowering those in socially excluded groups who feel that first aid is relevant to them
  • increased numbers of socially excluded groups sharing first aid with others
  • giving people from socially excluded groups the first aid skills to help others in any first aid situation.

If you are interested in becoming a Community Advocate, please see our volunteering opportunities.

Nesta and DCMS support the Community Advocate Programme


Department for Digital, Culture Media & Sport

Would you like to support a programme like this?

Could you support a programme like this, with a grant from your trust or foundation? Please get in touch.