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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Help us celebrate 10 years of first aid heroes

This opinion piece is over 1 year old

Celebrating success at the Scottish First Aid Awards

Let’s face it, with inflation, recession and the cost of living, the entire third sector is feeling the pinch.

The work being delivered by charities is even more necessary during turbulent times - which is why it feels more important than ever to celebrate feel good moments, incredible successes, and life saving acts.

This year, St Andrew’s First Aid is marking a decade of such celebrations, with its 10th annual Scottish First Aid Awards. For me, this milestone, which also falls in our 140th year, has provided an opportunity to reflect - on what has been achieved, on the number of people who have received first aid training through our services, and on the number of lives that have been saved as a result of their actions.

As Scotland’s only dedicated first aid charity, St Andrew’s First Aid has worked tirelessly to train more than 100,000 people across the country in the last five years alone, equipping Scots with the essential skills and knowledge they need to assist in an emergency situation.

Much of our success is down to our dedicated army of almost 1,000 volunteers, who give up their own time to provide training, attend community and large-scale events and are on hand when people are at their most vulnerable. The work being delivered is both life changing, and life saving, and we have the privilege of sharing their stories.  

Previous winners include a father from Mull who saved his toddler’s life using CPR after he stopped breathing and turned blue. Another man prevented a catastrophe as he saved the life of a driver who suffered a heart attack whilst driving across the Erskine bridge. Children as young as five have saved lives - calling for help when their mother collapsed in the street, and using back slaps to dislodge a coin stuck in their sibling’s throat. These real life stories of bravery and skill are what make first aid such a vital part of our day to day.

The Scottish First Aid Awards celebrate similar achievements across nine categories, including Young First Aid Hero, the commemorative Amy Allan Young Volunteer of the Year, Employer of the Year for First Aid Excellence and First Aid Hero. Funds raised from the event are used by the charity to continue our work in local communities and schools, helping us to move ever closer to achieving our mission of making Scotland a nation of lifesavers, where no person will suffer or die because they needed first aid and didn’t get it.

The awards, which will be held at Glasgow’s Radisson Blu on 31 March 2023, are an opportunity to say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to first responders. Across the third sector, we know there are countless people saving lives day in, day out – and we hope recognition at our ceremony can provide them with an opportunity to pause and reflect on the incredible impact they are making – as well as to celebrate an extraordinary achievement.

Consider your colleagues, family and friends – have you witnessed them going above and beyond to help save a life? It is only a matter of weeks until nominations close on 16 December – find out more about our categories, and submit your nominations now via We look forward to celebrating with you soon.

Stuart Callison is chief executive of St Andrew’s First Aid.