211a8deb 3bef 4552 be4e 747daf58ad9e

Suffolk: Recycle your oil for a worthy cause


From July until the end of September we are working alongside Suffolk County Council and FCC Environment to donate 10p per litre of used cooking oil, collected at household waste and recycling centres in the county, to St John Ambulance.

We talk to St John Ambulance District Manager for the Central Anglia District, Tony Curd, about why St John Ambulance is such a great charity to support.

What area does your team cover?
I’m responsible for the Central Anglia District of St John Ambulance in the East of England region and that’s basically the counties of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. Every year our volunteers give over 106,000 hours of service in Suffolk alone. We also have paid staff who deliver commercial training and operate our ambulance services. All surpluses from these activities is used to support the charitable work of St. John Ambulance.

On average, how many people does St John Ambulance help in the area each year?
During the course of each year we treat about 2,300 people in Suffolk.

Other than Emergency Response, what does the charity do?
St John Ambulance is also the leading provider of first aid training. What we aim to do is help people to become ‘the difference’ – the difference between a life lost and a life saved. Every year there are about 140,000 people who unfortunately die needlessly as a result of accident or sudden illness and we’re hoping that people will become ‘the difference’ (between a life lost and a life saved) as a result of basic first aid training.

How can people train to become a first-aider?
The easiest way is to go to our website and find out where local first aid courses are being held then book on those courses and come along. The courses are run by our dedicated training team. Some of those are volunteers and some are paid staff.

Who can receive training?
We’ll take anyone of any age from 6 through to 66 and beyond! We’re particularly keen that children should learn first aid at an early age and indeed we’d encourage first aid training to become part of the National Curriculum. There’s no bar to learning at any age; just a little knowledge of how to provide basic first aid can really make a difference and help save a life.

What are the biggest call-outs for you in Suffolk?
Suffolk is a rural area and we get call outs relating to that, but most of our work covers event cover. All of the major public events in the County such as the Suffolk Show, Ipswich Town Football Club matches, Speedway racing, Newmarket Races, carnivals, fêtes – you name it, St John Ambulance will be there, just in case an accident or untoward occurrence happens, so that first aid can be delivered in those vital first few minutes.

What is the charity’s mission statement?
It’s “the difference.” Nobody should lose their life because first aid is not available; it’s about being the difference between a life lost and a life saved. That, in a nutshell, is our mission statement.

Can you explain a little more about your citizenship statement?
St John Ambulance is very much rooted in the local community. We work in partnership with a number of organisations including the Ambulance Trust to ensure that first aid is available whenever and wherever it’s needed.

How is St John Ambulance funded?
The charity is largely funded by donations. We don’t receive any government support, so we’re very reliant on organisations such as Living Fuels and working in partnership with people to fundraise and raise awareness.

Why is it important for people to recycle their used cooking oil in order to raise money for St John Ambulance?
Well, aside from the environmental benefits of recycling cooking oil, all of the money raised from this initiative will go to providing direct care to people in the local community and ensuring that first aid is available to local people.

Anything more you’d like to say to the residents of Suffolk?
We’d really to encourage everybody to learn a bit of basic first aid. Also, if anyone needs event cover please contact us as St John Ambulance can assist with the provision of our “professional volunteers.”