ENHANCED local community focus with better first-aid and healthcare coverage across Wales is at the heart of St John Ambulance Cymru’s new strategy, launched today on St John’s Day, June 24, 2022.

First aid and health response charity, St John Ambulance Cymru’s new strategy aims to increase the impact of its national Welsh network to save lives and enhance the health and well-being in the communities of Wales.

St John Ambulance Cymru seeks to grow and invest across Wales. Every division will be equipped to provide improved community support, better supporting the NHS and providing more adults and young people with the skills they need to save lives. St John Ambulance Cymru is also focussed on increasing the availability of life saving equipment including a community AED, at their buildings.

Last year St John Ambulance Cymru transported over 25,000 patients; trained nearly 30,000 people in lifesaving skills and supported many events making them safe for the public to enjoy for the first time in a long time.

During the pandemic our St John people achieved a significant milestone as we reached over 10,000 hours of volunteer time supporting Wales’ coronavirus vaccination efforts. More recently St John Ambulance Cymru has trained over 1,500 people in mental health awareness at organisations across Wales since launching their mental health first aid course in 2018.

Chief Executive at St John Ambulance Cymru, Helen Smith, said: “We want to better serve the people of Wales. Our new strategy will help us to cover every corner of Wales as never before. Our work in mental health first aid has made a real impact.

“We are training mental health first aiders to be able to recognise the early signs and symptoms of common workplace mental health illnesses. As more people find the confidence to come forward to discuss their mental health, we want to ensure organisations are fully equipped to support them.

“The support our people provided during the Covid-19 was unprecedented and extraordinary. Whilst facing these previously unforeseen challenges, we also experienced increased demand for services, and this continues. The pandemic has, however, provided us with important steps that need to be taken now to improve our services within communities. We want to increase our impact, to be able to support more people and communities across Wales.”

“It was also wonderful to see one of our Badgers, Lowri, who was able to stop her big brother choking thanks to skills she learned at St John Ambulance Cymru, being awarded a bravery award at our annual investiture ceremony. It’s important to us as an organisation that we continue to equip our children and young people with the skills they need to make a real difference in our communities.”

Prior for Wales, Sir Paul Williams, said: “This strategy charts the next stage of our journey of delivering our mission to save lives and enhance the health and well-being in the communities of Wales.

This is an unbroken journey of over 100 years of providing first aid , through the selfless and dedicated commitment of our volunteers and staff.

This strategy ensures that our essential work can continue into 2023 and beyond and will help us achieve our vision of first aid for everyone, anytime, anywhere. “