Thursday 13 October, 2022: St John is working with its partners NHS England and the British Islamic Medical Association to ensure South Asian families have access to vital first aid resources in their language by developing a series of lifesaving materials - ‘Translating with Communities - which targets those whose first language is Urdu. 

In the lead up to Restart a Heart Day (Oct 16), when health charities and organisations come together to train as many people as possible in lifesaving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), St John Ambulance has launched first aid advice in Urdu to save more lives. 

Due to higher levels of deprivation and health and lifestyle factors, some people from South Asian backgrounds (Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi) may be at an increased risk of developing heart and circulatory disease; a key contributor to cardiac arrest. 

Data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows 27% of people in South Asian speaking communities do not have access to the lifesaving resources they need to give CPR due to limited English - despite being one of the highest at-risk groups for cardio-vascular diseases. 

Mina Anwar champions the move: 

“It is deeply worrying to know people from South Asian communities are at increased risk of cardiac arrest, yet do not have the essential lifesaving skills and awareness to be able to help someone experiencing a cardiac emergency. St John Ambulance’s Translating with Communities project is a crucial step towards better preparing people from South Asian communities to recognise and respond to a first aid emergency. It’s a vital campaign that will save lives – and one I am proud to support”. 

It’s hoped the newly created resources can help increase cardiac arrest survival rates in South Asian, Urdu speaking communities. A cardiac arrest is when the heart stops beating, and without prompt chest compressions or early defibrillation, the chance of survival decreases by up to 10% for every minute CPR or defibrillator is not given. 

They include a video showing how to give CPR and use a defibrillator in Urdu, pocket first aid guides, myth-busting posters and social media graphics. 

Alexandra Taylor, Head of Community Response Operations for St John Ambulance said: “We believe first aid is for everyone and no one should go without the first aid resources they need to feel confident to help in an emergency. We’re pleased to offer our translated resources in Urdu, alongside our other projects which have translated advice into Hindi, Ukrainian, Russian and British Sign Language – helping to break down any barriers for anyone wanting to learn these vital skills. 

“We hope to bring translated first aid advice to other key communities who would benefit from them in the future.” 

St John has also been working to increase cardiac arrest survival rates in communities at highest risk in England through its CPR Community Network, which launched last year. Through the network, volunteers are taught CPR and defibrillator awareness and go on to use their knowledge to teach to others in their community the same skills. 

Translated first aid resources are available on St John Ambulance’s website –