Quick guide to starting a university first aid society

Interested in starting up a first aid society at your university? Take a look at our tips on how to get started.

University first aid societyAt St John Ambulance, our vision is that 'everyone who needs it should receive first aid from those around them. No one should suffer from the lack of trained first aiders.' You can help us achieve this in the student community by setting up a St John Ambulance partnered university society and student volunteering unit.

1. We have first aid societies at around 50 universities in England already. Check your university doesn't already have one with your student union or on our website.

2. If you would like to set up a society, first speak to your student union. Each student union will have requirements on how to set up a society such as the minimum number of members you need, which committee roles you must have and membership fees.

3. You should then let the St John Ambulance team know about your society and if you wish to partner with us. We have a team of student volunteering officers based all around the country that can give you support in running your society. Get in touch with us at student-volunteering@sja.org.uk.

4. Each society should then produce a constitution. This is a document that outlines the aim and objectives of the society, we're happy to provide you with guidelines on how to write this.

5. Things to think about once your society is set up:

- Advertising your society - find out when your freshers fair is and get a stall. We can even help provide you with recruitment materials. Social media such as Facebook groups and Twitter accounts can also be great for attracting new members as well as communicating with existing ones.

- Producing a schedule of weekly meetings - this will mainly consist of first aid training. We provide some great first aid advice resources on our website.

- Booking meeting rooms - find out how to book meeting rooms/space for your sessions.

- Funding availability - speak to your university about funding available to buy resources for your unit, such as CPR mannequins.

- Putting on events - figure out what events you would like to put on such as, first aid demos, fundraising events and social events.

6. Once you have members in your society, you can then speak to us about setting up a partnered student volunteering unit. This will enable you to recruit people to become volunteer first aiders with us and you will benefit from all the opportunities available to a St John Ambulance volunteer. This decision would be made jointly between the society and your local St John Ambulance management team.

For more information, please contact the student volunteering team at student-volunteering@sja.org.uk.