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Read About Our History

For more than 100 years, St John Ambulance Cymru have been at the heart of Welsh communities, providing a lifeline to the people of Wales… 

It officially began for us in 1918 after our volunteers, who were recruited into the 130th Field Ambulance, returned from France where they’d helped treat soldiers on the battlefields of the First World War. It was the hard work and dedication of those volunteers, at home and overseas, that earned Wales it’s very own St John Priory, based in Cardiff.

After the war, our volunteers continued to provide first aid treatment in Cardiff and the surrounding valleys, including taking care of the war wounded and rehabilitation of returning St John Ambulance Cymru volunteers.

Since then we've been there for people through some of the country’s highs and lows, from providing support at the Aberfan disaster, to being pitch-side as Wales won Grand Slams.

As the need for first aid developed, so did we. The organisation set up the first Ambulance Service for Wales and in 1974 we were the first organisation to take first aid treatments and emergency response into the heart of communities, by introducing mobile treatment units - something we still do today.

The tradition of delivering first aid hasn’t wavered, and while our 4,000 volunteers are no longer needed on the battlefield, they support at a different type of field – the sporting field. As proud medical cover providers for the Principality Stadium, we help keep the public safe during events – including the world’s biggest sporting event; the Champions League Finals when they came to Cardiff in 2017.

A nation of lifesavers 

St John Ambulance Cymru believe everyone should learn basic first aid skills. Since the beginning we've trained people in first aid at work and in communities. Accessibility to first aid training was improved after we made the Preliminary Course in First Aid and Nursing available in Welsh, and in 1923 the organisation set up the first Cadet Brigade in Wales, meaning for the first time, children and young people in Wales had the opportunity to learn lifesaving skills. St John Ambulance Cymru Badger and Cadet Youth Programmes are now a staple of our work, teaching those aged 5-17 how to save a life and providing the perfect springboard for our healthcare professionals of the future. 

Today, we're proud to train over 30,000 people in first aid skills every year. Training everyone from school children to multi-million pound businesses, and working towards a Wales where no one dies because they needed first aid and didn’t get it. 

Looking for other ways to get involved?

Whatever you enjoy doing and however much time you can commit, there’s a volunteer role for you.

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