We've moved!

This donation page is on the old Big Give website. Please go to theBigGive.org.uk to find current campaigns and opportunities to double your donation.

If you have any queries on the changes, please email us at info@thebiggive.org.uk.

Project information

First Response to Emergencies in the Community

Receiving first aid in the minutes before advanced medical care arrives can be the difference between a life lost or saved. Volunteer responders who deliver care in these key moments save lives and improve health outcomes; defibrillation within 3 minutes of cardiac arrest improves survival to 70%+

July 2018 - December 2021

Charity information: St John Ambulance

St John Ambulance logo
  • Need


    Life threatening scenarios require immediate health care and essential treatment in the moments immediately after an incident, the kind of help that first aiders can provide. Thousands of people a year make emergency calls where first aid skills and equipment would change their outcomes, yet are unable to receive the first aid that will best affect their survival and recovery. Communities around England lack first aid treatment at the point of life threatening health events.


    Our volunteer Community First Responders (CFRs) are dispatched to life threatening calls in their local communities, offering emergency medical care in the vital minutes before an ambulance arrives. Our CFRs are fully trained and kitted out with essential equipment to help in a wide range of incidents requiring life saving care. CFRs already live and work within the communities they serve, enabling them to arrive in just a few minutes to assess the casualty and provide essential care.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Our project aims to relieve suffering and improve health outcomes in emergencies.


    » Recruit, equip and train community members with life saving skills for immediate first aid care;
    » Dispatch these volunteers to support people’s recovery and survival when they experience life threatening conditions/situations.

    What success will look like

    Success will be in the increased network of active Community First Responders available when calls are made, the type of call responded to and the patient's health outcomes.

  • Impact


    The long term changes for this project will be reduced waiting times for care, improved recovery times, and better supported health for people in communities from their own communities.
    More trained and equipped first aiders increases the likelihood of receiving appropriate help when needed, reducing deaths from the lack of basic skills.
    We can demonstrate this by the quantity and types of incidents that CFRs are involved in and patient outcomes as a result of receiving this care.


    The areas of this project which could encounter risk include the recruitment of volunteers and the time it takes to train them. We have mitigated this by running a pilot recruitment plan making the process more streamlined and role specific, which can be applied here.
    We are including kit costs in our ask so that each CFR has the equipment they need and we can therefore increase the number of CFR's available at any one time.


    For regular donors reporting will be through updates and stories in their newsletter communications, for corporates and trusts it will be through an impact report, as well as case studies for corporates and major donors. We can also set up links to share these case studies on social channels.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £2,100 Recruitment and training For 4 CFR roles, which could each help up to 50 people a year
      £6,100 Equipment For 4 CFR roles, which could each help up to 50 people a year
      £1,800 Ongoing consumables & expenses For 4 CFR roles, which could each help up to 50 people a year

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Corporate partner £50,000 Conditional
    Trusts and Individuals £20,000 Conditional
  • Background


    The project is run across England and is delivered in conjunction with the local ambulance services based on the highest need for this service. These are often highly populated areas where calls are frequent, and this service is required, as well as in more rural communities where local volunteers can respond faster than ambulance dispatch.


    Those who are in immediate need for emergency medical care, along with their loved ones, would be the primary beneficiaries. They would otherwise have to wait longer for the necessary care which would impact on their survival and/or recovery.
    The individuals who volunteer to be CFRs will also benefit in many ways from delivering such vital support to their local area. They will gain life saving skills, develop their capacity for crisis management, and use their humanity to improve the lives.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    St John Ambulance has been helping the nation save lives for 140 years and continues to bring first aid to emergency situations through our delivery and teaching. Whether responding at a public event or to an individual medical emergency, our personnel form a vital part of the nation’s emergency response system, working alongside the emergency services. Given the current reality of health care demands we are a trusted and experienced charity who can support patient needs in times of crisis.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    CFR Project Leads

    Contribute content about CFRs, their impact and regional needs. We can source a “face of CFRs” through them for case studies and personalisation.

    Fundraising Team

    Vital to reaching out to supporter types with appropriate messaging and timing, bringing in pledgers and donors.

    Strategy And Communications Team

    Important in connecting this to our organisational vision and messages and overall impact in society.

People are often scared or anxious when they call an ambulance, so they usually feel better just because we've arrived quickly and provided initial care. The difficult calls are those where the family is distraught, like when a patient is in cardiac arrest.

Anthony, Community First Responder