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Fashion guru visits West Midlands

Gok Wan performs CPR on mannequin

In Birmingham this week, fashion stylist Gok Wan witnessed first-hand the life saving work performed by St John Ambulance during a visit to launch a Vodafone volunteering scheme.

A World of Difference

Wan is touring the country to promote Vodafone's World of Difference scheme, which gives applicants the opportunity to become a two month intern with the charity of their choice. The scheme produces 500 interns for charities nationally.

Birmingham opened its County Headquarters to Wan to demonstrate what it takes to save a life.

West Midlands intern

With a successful applicant in the West Midlands in the scheme's debut year, and a large volunteer base around the country, St John Ambulance was the telecommunications company's first choice charity when looking to launch the scheme in Birmingham.

Keen photographer Dave Pinfield-Wells, from Coventry, interned with West Midlands St John Ambulance's operations department during February and March. He is also a member of St John Ambulance's Three Spires Division in Coventry.

Janet Catto, St John Ambulance's Commissioner for Training, said: 'We had fantastic success with our intern Dave last year and he became heavily involved with all aspects of the organization – helping to set up a new first aid group in Redditch and take a range of photos for our website and internal publications to help showcase our life saving work.

'First aid has the power to change lives in communities across the West Midlands. We intend to bring this experience to new and diverse communities, particularly among young people, and to do more of what we do best: teaching people first aid.'

Empowering people

Andrew Dunnet, Director of the Vodafone Foundation, said the Vodafone World of Difference UK Programme, empowers individuals to make a difference by working for a charity of their choice whilst getting paid for it.

'The Vodafone Foundation was delighted to accept St John Ambulance’s kind invitation to use their Birmingham HQ to help launch the 2010 Vodafone World of Difference UK programme. St John Ambulance is synonymous with helping others and making a difference to people’s lives but like many charities across the UK, St John Ambulance needs people from their local community to come forward and help make this difference.'

St John Ambulance has over 3000 volunteer members across the West Midlands who are trained and equipped to be the difference in their community. They give their own time to learn crucial skills they use as trainers, youth leaders and first aiders at local events across the region.