Tuesday 31 October, 2023: This October, St John Ambulance attended the Conservative and Labour Party Conferences to train Ministers, MPs, Councillors, and party members in lifesaving first aid skills and hear more about St John Ambulance’s vision to put first aid at the heart of every community.  

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Activities at the Party Conferences

St John Ambulance delivered an exhibition stand at both the Conservative and Labour conferences. St John volunteers from Liverpool and Manchester trained attendees in lifesaving first aid skills to ensure everyone gets the help they need in a health crisis.

Following the charity’s successful ‘Three Ways to Save a Life’ campaign, which saw St John volunteers teach over 16,000 people in Greater Manchester in first aid skills, the charity invited conference attendees to learn first aid; highlighting how education can have a positive impact on the health needs of communities.

Conference attendees were taught:

  • How to deliver cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use an automated external defibrillator (AED).
  • How to treat severe bleeding
  • How to treat someone who is choking.

Each year, over 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests take place, yet fewer than 1 in 10 people survive, as survival rates continue to lag behind other nations, as the members of the public either don’t have the training or confidence to perform first aid in their communities. That’s why St John is focusing on community first aid; upskilling and supporting communities to act quickly and confidently if first on the scene to improve health outcomes and help save lives.

St John Ambulance also briefed Ministers, MPs, Mayors, Councillors, and parliamentary candidates on the charity’s Community First Aid vision. The charity actively informed discussions on utilising the potential of volunteers to respond to community health emergencies, expand opportunities for young people and support the future NHS workforce.

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Asks of MPs and Councillors

Ahead of the next General Election expected in 2024, St John Ambulance is calling on political parties to support the charity’s vision for Community First Aid by committing to:

  1. Empower communities: by encouraging local councils to build partnerships with their local voluntary and community sector to support community resilience.
  2. Recognise auxiliary organisations: within national and local resilience frameworks to reduce NHS pressures and support crisis response.
  3. Introduce a Statutory Right to Volunteer: to enable volunteers to deploy at times of national and local emergency.

Speaking on St John Ambulance’s attendance at the party conferences Martin Houghton-Brown Chief Executive, said: “It was a pleasure to meet with MPs, councillors, and party delegates at the Labour and Conservative party conferences to discuss our vision for Community First Aid.”

“We’re looking at how, as a youth movement and trusted auxiliary to the national health services, we can respond, educate, and lead standards in community first aid to help save lives”.