We’re pleased to announce Amazon will be supporting the valuable health and community work carried out by St John Ambulance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A £50,000 donation will support a number of key areas, such as supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) and maintenance on the charity’s fleet of ambulances. Volunteer training is another area that will benefit as the charity continues to upskill its volunteers with skills specific to COVID-19 and increase the already large number of people able to assist in the current crisis.

St John Ambulance is a national health and first aid charity, stepping forward to save lives and support communities. Right now, the charity is working to care for people during the COVID-19 pandemic and is focusing on supporting its colleagues in the NHS during times of unprecedented demand.

To find out more about how the charity’s vital work will be supported by a £50,000 donation from Amazon, we spoke to Julide Troedsen (Head of Philanthropy, Partnerships and Special Events).

Responding to COVID-19

“As an organisation, we have improved the life chances of the sick and vulnerable for more than 140 years”, explains Julide. “We have always believed in the power of communities to improve the health of the nation – so our work to preserve and protect life has never been more important.”

Back of an ambulance with paramedics at work in shot

To support the COVID-19 response effort, the charity has changed its entire delivery system. Since the start of April they have been delivering over 1,000 hours per day of additional clinical support to the NHS and local communities in all ten ambulance trusts across the country.

“It’s often the case that a St John Ambulance acts as a first responder,” adds Julide, “which means we can relieve the pressure on the NHS and allow them to focus on priority cases. This work translates into lives saved every single day.”

“As an organisation, we’re working on the frontline. Our volunteers have been working in every region of the country, from communities to care homes, hospitals and the specially built Nightingale hospitals. That means we can be there for you, your family and friends.”

“It’s important to remember that we are a charity and our services are reliant on generous support and volunteers, not just from businesses like Amazon but also from smaller individual donations.”

If you would like to donate, visit the St John Ambulance website today to find out more. You can also donate £10 via your mobile phone by texting SAVE7 to 70577.

New training course for COVID-19

St John Ambulance expect the donation to be used across core activities such as purchasing, logistics and fleet management, as Julide explains: “You can imagine that every pair of gloves in our ambulances needs to be replaced, every face mask and gown, and of course we need to keep those ambulances full of petrol.”

Volunteer training is another area that is set to benefit, as the charity continues to upskill its volunteers with a skillset specific to COVID-19.

Julide adds: “We estimate that these volunteers will be delivering approximately 100,000 hours of support across 50 locations throughout this crisis. In April, we provided more than 1,200 ambulance deployments nationally and delivered more than 36,000 patient-facing hours. That’s an average of more than 1,000 hours every day and we’re well on the way to exceeding this figure in May by quite some margin. We have nearly 5,000 volunteers giving their time, expertise and resources to benefit thousands of patients.”

“We now have a specific COVID-19 training module and we have trained an additional 2,500 volunteers so far. All of those skills can also be transferred to any future crisis response situations.”

Celebrating St John Ambulance volunteers

Julide explains how the charity has been blown away by the passion and commitment of its volunteers.“Our volunteers come from every walk of life and every corner of the world, but they are unified by a shared sense of community spirit and a desire to help their neighbours. It’s a common misconception that our volunteers are paid or professionals – in fact they all give up their time for free.”

“Their commitment was as true before the crisis as it is now. Every year, for example, we host awards and present volunteers with an award for completing 1,000 hours of volunteering in that year. That’s an average of 19 hours per week – and we give away a lot of those awards!”

“The community spirit shines through in our volunteers. They’ve been totally amazing during this crisis.”

“St John Ambulance has been saving lives and relieving suffering for 140 years – with the support of Amazon and other partners, we hope it can do so for decades to come.”

St John Ambulance saves lives every day. Find out how you can support their vital work.