St John Ambulance to train thousands of Young Responders across the North East to combat street violence

The initiative will train young people to deal with knife wounds, spiking and alcohol and drug intoxication.
One person has been take to hospital following a six-vehicle crash near Rugby.One person has been take to hospital following a six-vehicle crash near Rugby.
One person has been take to hospital following a six-vehicle crash near Rugby.

A street first aid programme for secondary school students and young adults aged up to 25 is being rolled out across the North East, London and West Midlands.

St John Ambulance aims to train 15,000 young people in life-saving street first aid to prepare them for real-life situations young people may find themselves in.

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Training will include learning to deal with knife wounds, spiking, alcohol and drug intoxication, as well as tops on mental health awareness.

Jacob Roberts, 18, a Gateshead College Academy pupil who attended a Young Responder pilot session, said: “I liked the session a lot and it would be relevant to people to keep them vigilant and on their toes at all times, this is because of the current rate of knife and drug crime at the minute.”

The programme will target young people in underrepresented areas- those at risk of street violence or at risk of not being in education. Young carers and looked after young people too.

Dominic Hood, 18, also a pupil at Gateshead College said, “The part of the session I will remember the most is the CPR as it is a very simple but very effective technique to help try to rescue someone from death.”

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He added that ‘knife crime problem and drugs are becoming a problem with more people supplying them to younger ages.’

As well as being delivered in schools and colleges, St John hopes to partner with existing groups supporting communities to deliver Young Responders in the community and, where possible, involve existing Cadets to help with the sessions.

Paul Evans, director of youth and education at St John, said: Young people aged 10-19 represent 11% of the total population of the UK, and 10-24 year-olds, make up 18% of the population. But not all of these young people get the same start in life, or opportunities.

“Young Responders will engage and empower young people from diverse communities to become active health citizens, learning practical physical and mental health first aid sessions relevant to the challenges they face.”

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