The St Andrew’s First Aid charity which recently established a branch on the Western Isles, was providing First Aid cover at the rain-affected Women's Cancer Challenge 5k event in the Castle Grounds on Saturday.

The group is stepping into the gap left on Lewis and Harris by the withdrawal last May of the British Red Cross from providing First Aid cover in the Islands.


The organisation was formed in 1882 as St. Andrew’s Ambulance Association by doctors and businessmen in Glasgow who were concerned with the number of people being injured in the industrial city.  In 2008 it was rebranded as St Andrew’s First Aid to avoid confusion with the Scottish Ambulance Service.


There are more than 10 local volunteers at the moment and the group are looking to add more to that number with the aim of having at least 15 available.  Several of the group were formerly volunteers with the British Red Cross.


Without trained First Aid cover, it is very difficult for musical events, agricultural shows and other public events to take place on the Islands as they would need to provide both training and insurance cover.  


The group will also provide First Aid demonstrations and training for anyone interested and they hope to work with the emergency services to provide emergency response.

One of the St Andrews volunteers said: "Two of us were asked to cover the end of the event and ended up walking with three wonderful ladies all of whom faced their own personal challenges. Humbled and honoured to be a part of it with them!"