A HALESOWEN first aid unit is celebrating 80 years of serving the community and saving lives.

St John Ambulance, currently based off Manor Way, is set to mark the milestone this year having been founded back in 1943.

Judith Morris BEM, unit manager of Halesowen Youth Services Unit, said “We’re incredibly proud of our young people who join Badgers from five-years-old and Cadets from 10, they regularly give up their time to train, fundraise and deliver first aid within Halesowen and beyond. As an international uniformed youth organisation, St John has a long history of helping young people develop skills for life, many of whom will go onto work in the NHS.”

Phil McCahill, who manages adult volunteers at Halesowen, is encouraging more local people to sign up to volunteer.

He said: “There is no skill more important than the ability to save a life and St John Ambulance has been doing that here in Halesowen for 80 years. Our volunteers can be regularly seen providing first aid and keeping people safe across the Dudley borough.”

Anyone interested in joining should visit www.sja.org.uk

The unit meets weekly to train volunteers of all ages.

St John in Halesowen will be holding a number of events throughout the year to celebrate its birthday.

The unit is holding an open morning on Sunday April 16 from 10am to midday for people interested in volunteering opportunities – such as first aiders, youth leaders or ambulance crew.

Anyone interested in volunteering, can pop along for refreshments and to find out more.