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Red Cross - Blues appeal

Posted: Mon 24 Mar 2014

Don’t sit on the bench – British Red Cross and Birmingham City FC appeal for first aiders!

Football fans in Birmingham are being offered the opportunity to join the team of British Red Cross first aiders at Birmingham City Football Club’s St. Andrew’s Stadium.

The Red Cross have teamed up with Birmingham City FC to find new volunteers to provide potentially life-saving first aid at all home games. They are seeking volunteers to be on hand to treat fans, providing emergency first aid for anything from to hypothermia to heart attacks.

Launa Walker, British Red Cross co-ordinator for event first aid in West Midlands said: “We’re excited to offer this opportunity to join our brilliant team who provide first aid at Birmingham City FC matches. This would be ideal for fans looking for a new challenge and who want to make a difference.”

Dave Hoult, Safety Officer at Birmingham City FC said: “First aid is key to the whole safety operation here at St. Andrew’s and to have hardworking, dedicated volunteers working with us really makes for a successful operation.”

Event first aid volunteer, Alan Edwards (51) from Coventry rarely misses a match, having already attended 29 games this season.

He said: “The main reason I’m there is because I want to help others.”

“Every match is different, each time there’s a new challenge,” he added. “We’re trained to treat a whole range of injuries and illnesses, anything from minor cuts and bruises to giving cardio pulmonary resuscitation [CPR]. In the last 20 minutes of one game we helped one person who had a seizure at one end of the stadium and someone else with a heart attack at the other. You can never predict what will happen so it’s a good job we’re there.”

Alan, who works as an administrator at Jaguar Land Rover has also travelled the country to provide first aid at events including Jubilee celebrations at Buckingham Palace, Wireless Festival in London and Cosford Air Show.

“I’d encourage anyone to get involved,” he said. “There’s great training and support plus I’ve made some really good friends and learnt skills that are vital for life in general.

“Once I was returning from a festival in Leicestershire and saw a man come off his motorbike. Another Red Cross volunteer and I were first at the scene, I was so grateful I had the skills to know what to do. I’d like to think others would stop and help if it was a member of my family, which is why it’s so important to me to keep volunteering.”

Volunteers must be 16 years or older and don’t need any previous first aid skills. The Red Cross provides full training, uniform and covers expenses for getting to and from matches.

Anyone interested in joining the Red Cross team is invited to come along to an information session between 10am-12pm on Saturday 29 March at British Red Cross, Bradbury House, 7 Lowe Street, Camp Hill, Birmingham (B12 0ER). Alternatively, contact Launa Walker at or call 0121 359 3154.

Pictured above - Blues boss Lee Clark and captain Paul Robinson with the British Red Cross volunteers at St. Andrew's.