St John Ambulance expands youth
projects in hard-to-reach areas, thanks to funding
St John Ambulance has been able to
expand its work with young people, particularly
those in hard to reach groups, due to Department
of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) funding.
More lives saved
The funding means that the organisation will
be able to help more young people learn first aid
so they can save lives. Initial expansion will
commence in Birmingham, with further projects planned for the North
West, North East and London.
Responding to community needs
One of the projects the organisation is
investing in is
; a project
designed and led by young people, for young people.
RISE stands for ‘Respect, Inspire, Support,
Empower’ and is set up to benefit 16-25 year olds who are not
currently in education, employment or training (NEETS). The project
responds to specific community needs and helps the
personal development of young people in hard-to-reach areas, by
teaching new skills and improving self esteem.
Searching for leaders
St John Ambulance is currently recruiting for
a youth worker to lead the Midlands and North West arms of the
project to determine which young people to outreach to and where
best to locate the group. Four new units per region will then be
created based on this research. The organisation is also looking
for adult volunteers who can help out as youth leaders – no
previous experience is needed.
Teaching vital life-saving skills
The RISE project will help St
John Ambulance to teach young people how to cope in
emergency situations and will provide first aid training
for life-threatening conditions such as stab wounds, so young
people can be the difference between life and
Peer-to-peer training will also be given, as
well as leadership training so participants can
then go on to become youth leaders or first aid trainers
themselves. Others can choose to leave the programme but retaining
qualifications that will stand them in good stead in their
Turning lives around
The RISE project was piloted to great success
in East London where it continues. One young person, Jack, aged 18,
from Newham joined the pilot after becoming involved in gang
activity. He felt he needed a new direction in
life, which is what St John Ambulance offered him through
activities such as first aid training and pointing him in the right
direction to develop a business idea. Jack moved on from the RISE
project and into full-time employment.
Wendy Human, Head of Youth, said: ‘We’re very
grateful to the DCLG funding for allowing us to reach more young
people and teach them life-saving skills.
‘We hope to be recruiting young people to the
scheme by the end of 2012 but in the meantime we’re looking for
adult volunteers who are interested in being youth leaders.
Training and support will be provided.’
The organisation successfully won DCLG funding
through the Youth United scheme of uniformed youth
organisations, which also includes the Scouts and Guides.
For more information on RISE, visit www.sja.org.uk/sja/young-people/rise.aspx
and to volunteer with the scheme email Ruth Jalloh.