23 October 2019

Statement on first aid at events

Michael Adamson, Chief Executive of British Red Cross, said: “In recent years, we have seen increasing pressures on both our income and the demands for our assistance, which means 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 work providing first aid at events has been running at a financial loss for some time - the service still requires £1.8 million 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.  

“So, it is with real sadness that we have taken the very difficult decision to close our event first aid service by 31 March 2020. 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.  

“Delivering first aid education and promoting first aid as a vital skill is still fundamental to the British Red Cross. Last year, we trained over 275,000 people in first aid and we will continue to provide first aid training for individuals, schools, communities and businesses.”