St John Ambulance Cymru are a charity that provide ambulance and hospital transportation, as well as first aid training; alleviating the strain on the Welsh Ambulance Service. COVID-19 and lockdowns only deepened this need for support of vital services.
The charity works closely with the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust and health boards to maintain and increase capacity and resilience for NHS Wales adapting to new ways of working for local communities. Including providing over 2,000 hours of medical support to patients at Wales’ field hospitals and providing over 30,000 people direct support with healthcare services in 2020 alone.
When all training centres needed to close, and all external training was required to stop without notice, they urgently adapted to ensure volunteers and staff were able to continue lifesaving work. With supportive people and organisations making donations and social impact investment from companies such as, Big Society Capital, St John Ambulance Cymru were able to develop, and are continuing to roll out, digital and online training solutions.
It doesn’t stop there – they don’t only care for communities but look to inspire children and young people from the age of five. Through youth programmes providing them with the support and skills they need to grow in all aspects of their lives. They have been working to restitch people and place since before the pandemic and in the darkest of times, became more dedicated and courageous to support local communities across Wales and beyond.