Wednesday 17 April 2024: One year on from launching, innovative street first aid programme Young Responders is marking its first anniversary with impressive results – giving young people across communities in London, the West Midlands and the North East confidence in life-saving first aid.

Young Responders is a St John Ambulance youth programme offering lifesaving street first aid skills for some of the real-life situations young people may find themselves in. 

Young people aged 10-19 represent 11% of the total population of the UK, and 10–24-year-olds, make up 18% of the population and many are at risk of increasing street violence in their communities.

Project Manager, Pauline Bartley said, “We are getting amazing feedback with young people really keen to learn more about keeping safe with improved confidence in first aid. The hope is we can secure funding to run Young Responders in more areas – because the need is there.”

Young Responders delivers life-saving workshops to secondary and college students aged 11-25 in under-served areas the Ben Kinsella Trust and the Princes Trust, local authorities and young offender groups and the police.

Targeting young people in underrepresented areas, Young Responders is geared towards young people at risk of street violence, looked after young people, those who care for someone at home, and those at risk of not being in education, employment or training (NEET). 

Delivered by trained first aiders, the programme gives hands-on workshops to young people so that they can learn traditional first aid skills plus street first aid such as knife wounds, spiking and alcohol and drug intoxication, as well as tips on mental health awareness.

Young Responder Impact March 2023 - March 2024:

Between March 2023-March 2024, a total of 19,108* young people took part in a Young Responders session and 83% said that their confidence had increased as a direct result. Some 3,000 of the overall reach were sessions delivered in tandem with partners.

  • London – 11,344 young people participated in sessions 
  • West Midlands - 4,971 young people participated in sessions 
  • Northeast - 1,775 young people participated in sessions

    *The overall figure includes 1,018 sessions delivered in the pilot phase.

Gateshead College Academy pupil, Jacob Roberts, 18, who attended a Young Responder pilot session said: “I liked the session a lot and it would be relevant to people to always keep them vigilant and on their toes because of the current rate of knife and drug crime at the minute. Different people will benefit from this because of the risks and some people may have friends or relatives that has happened to them.

“This will be a very important life skill because it will help save lives.”  

Set up with £1m funding from People’s Postcode Lottery, the Young Responders programme is now seeking further funding to continue and to deliver in more areas.

Find out more about Young Responders and how to donate | St John Ambulance (