A Safety First

Providing first aid training for our members

A Safety First

Providing first aid training for our members

Reaching Out -

LLCI012-017

The issue

Volunteers are increasingly working without direct supervision, with many undertaking Bushcare, Landcare and regeneration on private land without professional assistance. Together with an ageing workforce, many volunteers are now responsible – and eager – to ‘watch out’ for each other on the worksite.

However, many volunteers have not undertaken vital first aid training, or their currency has lapsed. Coupled with the high cost of certification ($150) and the fact that many are retirees or students, this represents a substantial cost for what is a once-a-month commitment.

Greater Sydney Landcare recognised the need – and skills gap – in our volunteer members and sought to provide affordable, comprehensive and valuable first aid skills training for our network.

The solution

We held two workshops for our members – November 2018 for ten participants, funded by Greater Sydney Landcare and hosted by Conservation Volunteers Australia, Penrith; and a second in March 2019, with the help of a generous $1300 grant from Community Underwriting at Windsor Central Library. We engaged Graeme ‘Jono’ Johnstone, award-winning Landcarer who operates Clean4shore, and certified first aid instructor with Allens Training.

 Run over eight hours on a Saturday, Jono covered key theory on first aid obligations, legality, trauma, bite, asthma, CPR and liaison with medical professionals. Jono – incorporating his knowledge of Landcare and Bushcare – brought a distinctly outdoor element and highlighted the unique challenges faced by a volunteer (and often older) workforce.

The provision of funding through Greater Sydney Landcare, and Community Underwriting enabled us to offer this course free for financial members- removing financial exclusivity and representing exceptional member benefits given a typical course costs in excess of $150.

The impact

A total of 28 members from across Sydney were educated in first aid. Members came from local Council groups, private land conservation, Landcare groups and youth groups. Ages ranged from late-teens to mid-seventies. All praised the delivery by Jono and the exceptional value of the course in representing member benefits and engagement.

Learnings

There is substantial demand for affordable first aid training, with $150/day representing a significant cost for a volunteer workforce.

First aid courses need space; our first course was limited to ten people due to this restriction.

First aid certification only lasts for three years, so follow up courses – and funding sources - will be necessary in the 2021/2022.

Key facts

  • 28 members educated
  • Aged from late-teens to mid-seventies
  • Bushcare, Landcare, professionals, private land conseration represented
  • Visitors from Central Sydney, Oatley, Western Sydney, and the lower Blue Mountains
  • Multiple organisations collaborating together – Clearn4shore, Allens Training, Community Underwriting and Conservation Volunteers Australia.
  • Cost breakdown: ($1300 x 2 + $180 venue hire)/2 sessions = $99/head – unbeatable value for members, given the cheapest course, inclusive of student discount is $110 (University of Sydney) and typically averages $150.

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