During a fortnight in June 2013, St John charities throughout Europe succeeded in raising awareness about first aid among young people through various different activities - JOIN First Aid Day. The events offered included visiting schools, raising awareness through events such as quizzes, working together with local youth organisations and giving instructions on how to deal with camping accidents such as burns. In total, JOIN members were able to reach out to over 600 people throughout Europe with the great majority among these being children.
In emergency situations, delivering immediate first aid before professional help can arrive can be crucial to helping relatives or friends survive. Everybody can make a difference - and this also applies to young members of society. JOIN members are aware of this. Already on a national level, they work towards raising awareness among the general public about the importance of being able to help in emergencies.
During two weeks in June, JOIN members in Germany, Hungary, Latvia and Wales carried these efforts onto an international level through "JOIN First Aid Days". In particular, they carried out different events aiming to teach the general public basic first aid skills, while especially focusing on youth. Therefore, activities were specifically tailored to address children and adolescents.
Click on the gallery below to see the pictures from First Aid Day events in Germany, Hungary, Latvia and Wales. Below, you can find descriptions of the individual events hosted by the different JOIN members.
Germany - Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe
In Germany, the local Johanniter association in Ottobrunn, Bavaria made JOIN First Aid Day part of their Open Day. In particular, they offered a First-Aid-Quiz and some case studies on emergency situations. The event attracted wider audience than expected and also featured a raffle of a professional First-Aid-course. Also, they offered information about Johanniter International. The visitors were excited to hear that other St John organisations exist in Europe and around the world and were keen on learning about their activities. Altogether, the ten volunteers involved in the organisation were very happy with the event and look forward to hosting a similar event in the future.
Hungary - Johannita Segitö Szolgálat
The Hungarian St John organisation, Johannita Segitö Szolgálat, hosted events throughout the country. On 18 June, First Aid Day started in one of the socially most complicated districts of the Hungarian capital Budapest with a first aid course for 20 socially disadvantaged children aged 8-12.
Then, on 22 June, Johannita Segitö Szolgálat offered a basic first aid course through one of its local organisations in Mátészalka, East Hungary. 21 youngsters took part and enjoyed it so much that many decided to sign up for the Hungarian St John’s Annual First Aid Simulation Camp that will take place in mid-July. Some participants also showed interest in attending a 30-hour basic first aid training that will be offered in early Autumn. At the end of the event, the organisers and participants put a special emphasis on the international dimension of the event and with a Psalm, sent greetings to the other JOIN member projects: "For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways."
At both events, all participants received a t-shirt with the JOIN First Aid Day logo on it together with a logo of the host organisation Johannita Segitö Szolgálat.
Latvia - Sveta Jana Palidziba
Sveta Jana Palidziba, the Latvian JOIN member, contributed with an event in Riga's central garden on 20 June and was based on typical accidents of the “Līgo fest”, as St John’s day is called in Latvia. Over the afternoon, 5 different theme-related tents simulated different types of accident: A bee sting in the throat, choking, someone having lost consciousness, food poisoning and burns to the hand.
Each tent was staffed by 2 volunteers who instructed the participants on how to act in the given situation. A total of 220 youngsters participated in the event and all received a diploma afterwards.
Wales - St John Cymru
Within Wales, St John held a number of information sessions on first aid, demonstrations and courses in five schools to around 300-400 children. St John Cymru (Wales) was also able to secure a promotional spot in the Welsh capital Cardiff on a busy Saturday where St John members of all ages (amongst others, four Cadets were present) showed first aid to the Welsh public.
All events were organised around St John's day (June 24) - St John is the patron of all JOIN member organisations. "First Aid Days" was initiated and coordinated by the JOIN working group youth and implemented by the national St John charities.