Monday 21 June, 2021: With the start of summer and the Euros in full swing, 73% of people plan to head to bars and restaurants for the first time this year, despite Government restrictions remaining in place until July, according to new research from St John Ambulance.

And the health and first aid charity is expanding its teams of volunteers who care for revellers who find themselves sick or injured on a night out.

St John Ambulance night time economy.jpg

Ambulance and Community Response director for St John Ambulance, Craig Harman said: “As the summer starts and restrictions ease slightly, we’re seeing nightlife getting busier and the NHS coming under increased pressure – especially as the pandemic is very much still with us – but St John is here to ease that strain.

“The last Bank Holiday weekend in May was busier than a normal New Year’s Eve and, in addition to our usual presence in town and city centres, we stepped in to support ambulance trusts around the country, including sending out emergency crews.

“Having highly-trained first aiders and medical professionals on hand, close to pubs and clubs, means treatment is available when people need it most. Our volunteers can care for anyone who’s worse for wear, sick or injured and – crucially – prevent unnecessary hospital admissions. And that’s why we are rapidly expanding our work in support of the night-time economy to pre-COVID levels and beyond.”

Providing healthcare and treating patients on the spot

St John Ambulance first aid provision to make nights out safer has become a regular fixture in recent years, with projects in locations including London, Birmingham, Newcastle and Manchester. Led by healthcare professionals and highly trained volunteers, the aim is to reduce demand on frontline NHS services by providing healthcare and treating patients on the spot. The charity is aiming for more than 40 locations by the end of 2021.

Meanwhile, a new survey commissioned by St John shows people are more likely to recognise the charity for providing first aid at football matches than in delivering crucial emergency services supporting the night-time economy.

When asked where they would seek help if someone was injured or fell ill on a night out, most people (67%) said they would turn to the NHS. 44% would rely on bar, club or restaurant staff, 43% would lean on their friends and 40% ask the police.

Just 28% said they would ask St John Ambulance volunteers for help; and low awareness of the wider services St John provides has prompted the charity’s new Ask Me campaign which launched on Monday 14 June.

Outdoor, radio and digital advertising has been designed to make the public stop and think about all of the vital roles St John plays in people’s everyday lives.

Over 2,000 posters and billboards feature stunning portraits of volunteers and patients with provocative quotes inviting the public to ask them about their real-life St John experiences and you can find out more online: