FIRST aid charity St John Ambulance has doubled its training capacity in York with a move into the city centre.

In a bid to help save more lives in York, the national charity has teamed up with the Park Inn Hotel, in North Street, to meet demand from the York business community for its first aid and health and safety courses.

St John Ambulance's existing facility in Clifton Moor is one of the charity's busiest venues in the region, and last year trained 1,432 people.

The new location at the Park Inn Hotel will offer a suite of one, two and three-day courses, including first aid at work and refresher training, emergency first aid at work and health and safety sessions.

Graham Henry, regional director of St John Ambulance’s Commercial Training Division, North East, said: "We already have training facilities on the outskirts of York, but this is an ideal location to cater for businesses within the city and will meet demand for our courses in the area.

"Opening a new training venue in such a central location as the Park Inn Hotel means that our training courses are more accessible and we hope it will encourage more employers to help their staff learn the skills that can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved."

The new city centre facilities at the hotel will allow St John Ambulance to train up to 24 people at each session.

Mr Henry added: "In 2012 to 2013, there were 7,260 reported injuries to workers in Yorkshire and the Humber, the equivalent of nine per cent of the overall GB total, which illustrates how vital it is for businesses to have appropriately trained first-aiders on hand. Even basic first aid awareness can save lives.

"Importantly, there are numerous examples of people who have been sent on workplace first aid courses only to find their skills have helped them to save the life of a family member, someone in their own community or act confidently in an emergency situation."