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First Aid


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  • Learn First Aid, Basic and/or Advanced. Whatever you want to learn.
  • Learn to Save a life and become an 'Everyday Hero'
  • Build your confidence with active, scenario-based learning, games, and socials.
  • Add to your CV and Plymouth Award
  • Exciting opportunities to volunteer with St. John Ambulance.
  • Join us on Fundraising activities that help fund the work of life-saving charities.


What We Do

The University of Plymouth First Aid Society (UP:FA) supports the St John Ambulance's vision that 'no one should die in a situation where basic first aid could have saved them'. Each year 29,000 people die from heart attacks, 900 people choke to death and thousands more die in situations where first aid could have been the difference between a life lost and a life saved. It takes an average of 8 minutes for an ambulance to arrive after calling 999, but on average it takes only 3 minutes without oxygen for the brain to start dying and only seconds for a body to go into shock after suffering a major bleed. On the 19th July 2018 the British government brought forward draft legislation stating that Primary school children would be taught basic first aid, like dealing with head injuries and calling the emergency services, while those in Secondary school would be taught life-saving skills such as CPR and the use of defibrillators. This decision was made after members of the public attempted to help victims of the 2017 Manchester Arena bombings but lacked the knowledge of First Aid to do so. As a society, we wholeheartedly support this decision and hope that, in teaching you basic first aid, you too could make a difference in someone else's life.

University of Plymouth First Aid Society aims to educate and promote first aid skills as well as helping to give the confidence to use them in real life. We provide informal evenings to all members in addition to working alongside the University's St John Ambulance unit who provide first aid cover at events across our city and across the UK.


Meeting Nights

We meet every Tuesday evening from 19:00 to 21:00 to learn and develop valuable skills from each other, special guests and healthcare professionals. We won Society of the Year in 2013, Best Project in 2016, Gold Icons in 2017 and our members continue to collect a variety of external and internal awards year after year.

At our meetings, we learn skills, develop them, and become more confident in using them, something you can't get from a 3 day First Aid at work course. We use active scenario based learning to put the skills into practice, in order to not only develop knowledge but also develop confidence so you're ready to apply your skills in real life situations. Many of our members, past and present, have used the skills they learn in our meetings to become 'Everyday Heroes' and have saved lives at home, work, university, or out and around Plymouth. These skills are great to add to your CV, and you can add Volunteering hours to work towards your Plymouth Award.


Meeting Night and Times

When: Every Tuesday, 18:45 for a 19:00 start.

Where: Babbage 404



During the academic year St John Ambulance will run a selection process to recruit new members into the Plymouth Student Volunteering Unit. These volunteers will be given the training required to go out and provide First Aid at events across the country.

The unit covers a wide range of events including weekly matches at Argyle (Football) and Albion (Rugby), Concerts and Shows at Pavilions, as well as large events such as the Royal Cornwall Show, London Marathon and Wimbledon. We also have the opportunity to meet and interact with other St John units on duties and training days, such as the Plymouth Event Services Unit, and Bristol, Bath and Exeter Student Volunteering Units at events throughout the year.



Our main annual fundraiser is a 24-hour CPR Marathon, typically held on campus. In this, we continuously perform CPR on a number of dummies while snacking on an assortment of cakes, crisps, chocolates, sweets and very occasionally some fruit, watching movies and playing games to raise money. 

We also have a series of additional fundraising events, including:

  • Cake Sales
  • Quiz Nights
  • Treasure hunts



We host night time socials and daytime activities alike to cater to everyone's tastes, alcohol is always optional and never compulsory. Themed nights such as the 'First Aid Olympics' and 'Hunger Games' run throughout the year and we hope to keep up with these traditions. We are always eager to hear ideas for socials!


Social Media

To keep up to date with our activities, and see photos from our experiences over the past year, follow us on Social Media!

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