SCHOOL children are to get training in first aid – thanks to big-hearted shoppers. Customers at Sainsbury's in Dartmouth chose St John Ambulance as their charity for the year. Now, thanks to donations and fundraising by staff, more than £4,175 has been raised that will go towards running a basic first aid course in local primary schools. Staff from the store, including manager Sarah Collins, met crew members at Dartmouth St John Ambulance station to celebrate the successful partnership. For the last five years, Sainsbury's has given customers nationwide the chance to vote for their favourite local charity and be considered to receive a year's worth of support from their nearby supermarket. On hearing Dartmouth St John Ambulance had been voted the cutomers favourite for 2013/2014, members couldn't wait to get started. St John Ambulance branch supervisor Malcolm Matthews said: 'For a big retailer like Sainsbury's to confirm a year's partnership with us was just incredible news. 'I remember getting the phone call and having a big grin on my face. We had our first meeting shortly after and worked up some great ideas that we hoped would create great feedback with the store's customers and colleagues. Working with Sainsbury's Dartmouth over the last 12 months has made such a difference to our cause. 'We've raised a fantastic amount which we're using towards primary education first aid training and we're now looking forward to working with them on future opportunities.' Throughout the last 12 months, staff at the store held several activities to raise funds and awareness of the charity. These included a bingo night that helped to raise £400 and the store took part in book sales which added a further £700-plus to the total. Store manager Sarah Collins said: 'Our colleagues have really enjoyed working with St John Ambulance and it's certainly touched the hearts of many of them that before didn't necessarily have a direct link to them. 'We know what an important part they play in the community and we hope the year-long partnership has helped remind our customers of the valuable service they provide in the South Hams. 'Thanks to the partnership, we'll certainly now be looking into ways we can support them in the future.' Customers in Dartmouth have again been voting for a new charity, which will be announced in July.