St John appeals for volunteer life-savers

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Organisers of the St John Ambulance Bedford John Bunyan unit are appealing for new volunteers to step forward, with opportunities as adult first aiders, youth leaders and badgers.

Adult volunteers carry out first aid duties at events including the Bedford River Festival, the Bedford Kite Festival, and the Festival of Fire and Light, as well as other public gatherings in the community.

No prior first aid or volunteering experience is required as all necessary training will be given at weekly unit meetings.

At the recent River Festival, volunteers from the unit joined colleagues from many other units in a team of over 200 people working alongside the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) to keep festival-goers safe during the two days of the event.

Badgers are the youngest St John Ambulance volunteers, aged between seven and 10 years old, and work towards completing their Super Badger Award, which includes learning first aid as well as completing 12 subjects.

Youth Leaders will help teach the badgers, as well as the cadets (who are aged between 10 and 17) a number of valuable life skills as they progress through structured learning programmes with the charity.

Unit manager Elaine Tompkins said: “We are a very busy unit and I’d like to hear from enthusiastic local people who would like to learn how to be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.

“We also have several vacancies for badgers, the life savers of the future, and for youth leaders to help our young volunteers with their progress through the organisation. Young St John Ambulance volunteers regularly stay with the charity as they get older and there are a large number around the region who started as badgers and are now members of our adult team. Volunteering with St John Ambulance is really fulfilling and it is an incredible feeling to know that you have the skills to save a life.”

The Bedford John Bunyan unit has its meetings at its HQ building on St John’s Street on Monday evenings.

Badgers meet from 6pm to 7.30pm while the adults meet between 8pm and 10pm.

If you are interested in any of these roles, contact Elaine for an informal discussion at or on 07950 215005, or email

All potential adult volunteers will need to pass an enhanced disclosure and barring service check.