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St John volunteers bank on your support


St John volunteers are a reassuring sight at events and emergencies across the state, providing vital first aid, medical services and peace of mind to those who need it most.

But protecting the public comes at a cost, so St John SA has partnered with Bendigo Bank, Australia's fifth largest retail bank, to launch Volunteer for a Volunteer, a campaign aimed to raise funds for a safer community.

The campaign encourages participation three ways; local people can volunteer their time to fundraise on behalf of their local St John division, make a donation online or at their local Bendigo Bank branch, or put the fun into fundraise by daring a friend and spread the word, encouraging others to donate.

Leading the charge are Volunteer for a Volunteer Ambassadors, including Triple M's Chris Dittmar, Channel 7's Rosanna Mangiarelli and The Block's Phil and Amity, who will volunteer to raise funds on behalf of St John volunteers, encouraging members of public to fundraise, donate or dare a friend.

Funds raised by local communities through Volunteer for a Volunteer will remain with their local St John division, supporting community needs and allowing St John volunteers to continue their vital work.

Bendigo Bank State Manager SA/NT, Joe Formichella, said the Bank had a long history of supporting local organisations through sponsorships and community engagement activities, and was especially proud to be involved with St John SA, who largely rely on public donations.

"St John volunteers are always there when we need them, but many people don't realise that while these critical services are free to the public, many events - particularly local community and sporting events - could not actually go ahead without St John volunteers," Mr Formichella said.

"Being closely connected with and supporting many metropolitan and regional South Australian communities, we know that St John volunteers safeguard the wellbeing of South Australian people and we are keen to play a role in supporting them to continue their vital work," he said.

St John CEO, Ray Creen, said the campaign signaled a new direction for the organisation, as it evolves to meet the growing number of patients requiring treatment each year.

"Although we have long been a trusted and valued member of the South Australian community, this is the first time we have ever directly appealed to the public to help us provide our services," said Mr Creen.

"St John volunteers come from all walks of life, but they have one thing in common - a desire to help others and save lives.

"Last year, St John attended 2,950 local and major events and emergencies, and we treated 19,000 patients up from 12,000 in 2014. Our volunteers selflessly committed more than 91,000 hours at these events, plus another 58,000 hours in training to develop and maintain their first aid and medical skills.

"This campaign will help us to raise funds to support our volunteers and ensure that they can continue to be that trusted safety net for the public, while being backed with modern, portable equipment and supplies," he said.

Volunteer for a Volunteer is a three month campaign running from February through April, kicking off the first year of a three year partnership between Bendigo Bank and St John SA.

Funds raised will g