70 years of help and caring

The anniversary celebrations
The anniversary celebrations

A voluntary group that has been saving lives for 70 years wants more members of the public to become trained in first aid.

The Wellstood corps of St Andrew’s First Aid was established in 1943, originally to provide basic medical care and training for employees of the Smith & Wellstood foundry in Bonnybridge.

Following the closure of the foundry in the 1980s, the corps carried on its duties regardless and can still be regularly seen at public events across the Bonnybridge, Falkirk and Stirling districts, as well running first aid classes.

Last month marked its 70th anniversary, and as group treasurer Alan Hobbs explained, there remains much work for the group to do.

“Our regular duties include all home Stenhousemuir and Stirling Albion matches. We also attend the Hogmanay celebrations at Stirling Castle,” he said.

“We have around 16 regular members, but we’re always looking to recruit more people. Joining St Andrew’s gives you the opportunty to learn first aid skills and put them to good use.

“You could help save someone’s life.”

Susan Swan (81) holds the title of deputy commandant and has been a Wellstood corps volunteer for more than 40 years, and her long service was recognised by her colleagues at a reception on March 16.

She told The Falkirk Herald that she has no plans to retire.

“If I didn’t enjoy it, I wouldn’t do it,” she said.

“St Andrew’s officers used to have to retire at 70, but that rule was scrapped.

“I like making a difference. I know of several people I have helped train who have gone on to save someone’s life.”

Susan, from Haggs, still regularly volunteers at football matches.

“I always say to the referee before the game - if a player is lying down, give them a kick up the backside so we can tell if there is anything wrong with them.

“There has been a huge increase in play acting in football.”

To find out how you could become a StAndrew’s First Aid volunteer, visit
the organisation’s website www.firstaid.org.uk.