Friday 09 June, 2023: An NHS report has highlighted the huge value St John Ambulance volunteers brings to the NHS workforce and the impact youth programme NHS Cadets has made developing the next generation of young lifesavers.
The NHS Volunteering Taskforce Report, which outlines the findings from a group chaired by Chief Nursing Officer for England, Dame Ruth May and Founder of Helpforce Sir Tom Hughes Hallett, has called for more recognition for the impact of volunteering has on patients and staff, and encourages NHS England continue to develop youth programmes such as St John Ambulance’s NHS Cadets to help boost its workforce.
Since its launch in 2020, NHS Cadets has helped over a thousand 14–18-year-olds gain the skills and experience needed to help kick start careers in healthcare.
Run in partnership with St John Ambulance and NHS England, NHS Cadets teaches young people essential first aid skills and develops their health care knowledge, with workplace experience to help enhance their CVs.
Uniquely, the programme doesn’t just focus on clinical careers but opens young people up to the hundreds of different career opportunities within the NHS - from management, to accountancy, engineering, catering and beyond.
Recently St John Ambulance began delivering in secondary schools across England with the hope to reach even more young people and help grow the NHS’s future workforce.
Responding to the report, St John Ambulance Chief Executive Martin Houghton-Brown said: “The report’s findings are testament to the dedication of St John people providing emergency support to the NHS and strengthening community first aid resilience.
He added, “As a youth movement, St John is committed to developing the next generation of healthcare professionals. Investing in youth programmes like NHS Cadets is vital to encourage young people to pursue careers in healthcare, tackle health inequalities and increase the diversity and inclusiveness of an NHS workforce fit for the future.
NHS England has committed £10 million to support the implementation of the report's recommendations across integrated care systems to increase the scope of volunteering across the health and social care system.
St John Ambulance looks forward to meeting with NHS leaders this week to discuss the value of volunteering and community response operations at NHS ConfedExpo in Manchester.