St John Ambulance is the UKs leading First Aid and ambulance charity. We, the University of London Unit (ULU), are the student wing of St John Ambulance. We aim to provide students in Higher and Further Education with the chance to become or remain involved in St John Ambulance.
Whether you just want to know First Aid for your own sake or you want to join us having a great time putting your newly found superpowers to action at events around London, get involved now!
We offer a range of meetings about different aspects of First Aid; we are a friendly bunch and welcome new members, so come along and join St John Ambulance.
When and Where We Meet
Sessions are every Wednesday during term time at 19:00 - 21:00 in Room 3C/D (3rd Floor, Student Central, Malet Street, WC1E 7HY, London)
What we do
Learning First Aid
Each week we focus on a different element of first aid, gaining expertise by learning in it detail, and gaining practice at treating it so as to be able to respond quickly when the situation arises.
One popular session we run involves teaching you how to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). This is something we believe everyone should know how to do, so we engage various learning methods to help everyone. To start, the trainer will give a presentation which describes an overview of the process. This would start from diagnosing the need for CPR, through to its implementation and what possible complications you may encounter. Then we get everyone practicing because practice is essential and fun!
These small group breakouts tend to work well with people quickly gaining confidence. We would then wrap the session up with a chance for everyone to give feedback; general comments from the trainer(s) and from the attendees.
Providing First Aid
Once qualified, you will provide first aid to members of the public at events such as marathons, tennis, theatres, football matches, royal events and many more. This active side is totally voluntary so you can come to our weekly meetings to learn and have fun even if you don't want to do this. A lot of us find that enticing though.
You start as a Trainee First Aider to learn the ropes. After a couple of duties you can go on a First Aider (FA) course. You can work independently and do some more stuff. Repeat process so you progress from FA to Advanced First Aider (AFA). By this stage you can deliver Medical gases and work with many more severe conditions than at FA. Then you can start specialising. CRU is the Cycling Response Unit so you can quickly get to casualities on a brightly coloured bike. Medical Response Team (MRT) are the best group for working in high density crowds for patient treatment and extraction. After AFA, you can also become a Patient Transport Attendant (PTA), which is the final step before Emergency Transport Attendant (ETA). PTA and ETA are ambulance crew where you will be attending real life emergency calls, for which SJA provides both clinical and driving training.
What does it cost?
£10 joining fee
- Contact your society
- Get a Student Central ID Card from Reception
- Sign in to the Student Central website (you will receive an activation email after getting your card)
- Purchase your membership online
- Continue attending weekly sessions
"Personally, if someone collapses in the street, I’ve always wanted to be that person that can rush in to save them. First Aid is one of those basic things that everyone should know, and what better way to learn than through a society?
Being student-run, weekly meetings are very relaxed and social, but at the same time, you learn and practice tons of (literally) life-saving skills! Like CPR, taking blood pressures, and even dealing with drunk people (especially relevant as a University student). Bandages, slings, checking vitals - you learn all sorts! And from some of the most talented and genuinely lovely people I have the privilege of calling my friends. There’s nothing quite like being in the St John LINKS family.
Not only is it a great way to learn how to help others, it's super fun being out on duty too, representing such a prestigious charity. I've only been operational for a few months, but the experience is beyond immersive - under the guidance of the more advanced first aiders, I've helped treat a variety of patients, from London Marathon runners with bleeding feet, to unresponsive patients in Clapham Hub, to Arsenal football fans with sprained wrists. With the opportunity to work at Wimbledon and the Hyde Park concerts over the summer, there’s definitely something for everyone!"
- Emily Caudron, Joined Oct 2016
"With only negligible amounts of bias, I also love our St John Ambulance unit and here's why:
At the start of uni, being around town all day I knew that if something happened in front of me on the street, and someone needed help, I wouldn't have a clue what to do. And I wanted to change that, so I thought 'great! I'll come along one evening a week, and become the person who'll know what to do.' But at the very first meeting I realised that St John would become more than that, since not only was the meeting informative, it was also really good fun! The people are fun and friendly, the atmosphere is relaxed, and very soon Wednesday nights became one of the highlights of my week.
Then I saw the smart uniform and pretty equipment we get at events, and I thought 'that looks nice too!' So I signed up, and before I knew it I'd walked straight into (well, through the back door) White Hart Lane, the Emirates, the Olympic Stadium, Lord's Cricket, Wimbledon and Queen's tennis, the Royal Opera House and Horse Guards parade, to name but a few. I'd met the most interesting people, made the most wonderful friends, and treated everything from small cuts to unresponsive people, to some really weird things.
Now I feel like if someone did need help, not only would I want to help, I'd also be competent to do so. And I gained a bit more along the way!"
- Shira Greenberg, Society Manager 2017/18 (Treasurer 2015/16, 2016/17)