St John Ambulance volunteers to provide pop-up treatment centre in Guildford

Volunteers from national healthcare and first aid charity St John Ambulance will be operating its Night-Time Economy pop-up treatment centre in Guildford this weekend (22nd and 23rd) for the University freshers in partnership with Guildford and Waverley Health and Care Alliance. 

Volunteers attending are clinically trained and stationed in the town centre on Friday 22 September and Saturday 23 September, from 10 pm to 4 am, offering medical assistance as well as a safe space. The treatment centre, located on North Street next to the Friary Centre (opposite McDonald's), can be pinpointed with the What 3 Words location ///Later.Safe.Tides. 

Whether you need assistance or are concerned about someone's wellbeing, the St John team is here to help. Skilled first aiders and healthcare professionals will be on hand to offer guidance and support. They will work closely with police officers and venue staff to ensure individuals get the help they need, also joining up with university student union and welfare teams. 

The St John team includes a diverse range of volunteers, including Paramedics, capable of managing most injuries or illnesses on site. This approach helps alleviate pressure on the Royal Surrey County Hospital. Additionally, St John will have an emergency ambulance on standby for swift response to any town centre emergencies, allowing for the seamless transfer of patients to the hospital if needed, without requiring an NHS ambulance being called. 

In addition to first aid, the St John team is there to assist with general welfare including services like phone charging, access to water, and practical support for a safe journey home. The team will be working alongside other organisations such as the Street Angels. 

Alex Cox, District Community Response Lead for St John in Surrey, said: “As a university student myself, I am looking forward to seeing this project come to life, taking care of students on a night out should they need us, as well as people outside the university community. We aim to make sure that anyone who goes on a night out in Guildford can do so without fear and with the knowledge that there is always a safe space to go to with St John should they need medical assistance or even if they just need somewhere to wait. I encourage everyone to make use of our service and familiarise themselves with where we are, helping us to help you.” 

St John are advising people to follow these simple steps to keep themselves safe:
  •  Keep safe by staying together when you’re out with friends.
  •  Pace yourself. Keep an eye on how much you and your friends are drinking.
  •  Many bars and nightclubs (and many universities) offer bottle ‘bungs’ like a cork which can prevent drinks being spiked – ask for one.
  •  Don’t accept drinks from strangers, especially after you have had a few drinks.
  •  If you think you or a friend has been spiked, make sure to alert bar or event staff and the police, including reporting any suspicious behaviour. Call 999 and get medical help, especially if there is a loss of consciousness, breathing difficulties, or abnormal or impaired sight.
  •  If you have used recreational drugs or drunk a lot of alcohol, it’s important to tell your friends what you have taken and when, and get medical help from staff if you need it. Medical staff treat without judgement and ensure confidentially.
  •  Plan your route home - if you are new to Guildford you may be taken by surprise when public transport finishes. 

  •  Most of all, look out for each other so you can end the night safely.