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British Red Cross to stop providing volunteer first aid at events

PUBLISHED: 14:39 06 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:39 06 November 2019

The British Red Cross charity is stopping its community volunteer first aid service from March 31, 2020; PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

The British Red Cross charity is stopping its community volunteer first aid service from March 31, 2020; PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2011

British Red Cross first aid volunteers will stop providing support at community events next year in a bid to save money for the charity.

The organisation, which supports people in the UK and abroad, said it would stop its community first aid service from March 31 after seeing "increasing pressures on both our income and demands on our assistance".

Michael Adamson, chief executive of the British Red Cross, said: "We must prioritise how we use every pound donated to us.

"The British Red Cross has a proud history of providing first aid at events and we are extremely grateful to all our passionate and committed volunteers and staff who have dedicated so much time and energy to providing a first-class service to our clients.

"Unfortunately, our event first aid work has been running at a financial loss for some time - the service still requires £1.8m of donations annually to cover the shortfall between income and costs - and this is diverting vital funds from our efforts to provide emergency support for major domestic and global crises."

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He added: "It is with real sadness that we have taken the very difficult decision to close our event first aid service by March 31. This is not a decision our trustees have taken lightly. We are acutely aware of the impact this will have on our valued British Red Cross staff and volunteers.

"We sincerely hope our volunteers will consider continuing their journey with us in other ways.

"We have also agreed a streamlined transfer process with St John Ambulance and St Andrew's First Aid for those volunteers who wish to continue providing first aid at events with another organisation."

Last year, the British Red Cross trained over 275,000 people in first aid and it will continue to provide first aid training for individuals, schools, communities and businesses.

Mr Adamson said that delivering first aid education and promoting first aid as a vital skill was fundamental to the charity.

As well as first aid training the British Red Cross helps people with debt, as well as people abroad facing hunger and being caught up in conflict.

Are you an event organiser that is impacted by this decision or a British Red Cross first aid volunteer? Call 01603 772684 or email sophie.wyllie@archant.co.uk

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