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stjohn400A new group of volunteers is being assembled by St John Ambulance to be on hand for first aid emergencies at some of the Isle of Wight’s major events next year.

The first aid charity’s new Ryde Unit is going from strength to strength and has been providing first aid at a full programme of events this summer, but is hoping for more volunteers to come forward in order to train them for Summer 2015.

There are currently 8 fully trained adult volunteers at the unit, along with a 10-strong Cadet Unit (11 to 17 years old).

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St John Ambulance also has an active unit in Newport and they too are looking for more people locally to be the difference in their local community by becoming first aiders.

This year some of the events covered across the island included Walk the Wight, the Chale Show and the Garlic Festival.

Ryde Unit Manager Rees Pritchard said:

“We have had a great year of providing first aid at some major events, and we want to be able to offer our services at even more next year. Fortunately there have been only minor injuries to deal with but we are always kept on our toes and I am very pleased with how everyone has pulled together as a team of volunteers and as great friends.

“Demand for first aiders is strong and we believe there are many more people living on the Isle of Wight who would like to learn to save lives and enjoy volunteering for St John Ambulance. Once you learn first aid it’s with you for life, and of course can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved in people’s homes, workplaces and communities as well.”

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Last year, St John Ambulance volunteers based on the island carried out over 6,500 hours of voluntary service.

Each adult who volunteers with the charity is given free first aid training, to enable them to deal with situations ranging from choking and heart attacks, to treating burns and administering chest compressions on a patient who has stopped breathing.

St John Ambulance will be holding two Open Evenings for anyone considering being a volunteer. They will be at the Ryde Unit on 12th November at 19:30 and at the Newport Unit on 13th November at 19:00 – address details below.

Anyone interesting in volunteering as a first aider can also attend one of the regular St John Ambulance meetings. These are held in:

Ryde – at St Michael and All Angels on the corner for St Michael’s Avenue and Wray Street, PO33 3EH, on Wednesday night between 19:30 and 22:00

Newport – at 12 Manners View, Dodnor Industrial Estate, PO30 5FA on Thursdays between 19:00 and 21:00.

Anyone wanting more information should telephone 01983 822794 or email [email protected]. For more information about St John Ambulance go to

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