St John, which operates the country’s ambulance service, is turning to the internet to attract more younger members.
Through such incentives as a free email service and member-only website, it wants to lift youth member numbers from 3500 to about 10,000 by 2010, says national youth director Michael Brooke.
By providing youth members with an email account, the organisation believes it can safeguard them better than commercial ISPs from internet nasties, Brooke says.
“Commercial providers are full of advertising and spamming of junk and R18 material.”
A content checker – Computer Associates’ Intrusion Detection software -- on St John’s servers will filter such material, Brooke says, “while not interfering with the privacy of our young people”.
St John youth members learn first aid and general "life skills".
Infrastructure for the service has been provided by hardware, software and services vendors, including HP, Microsoft, Axon, CA and Lan 1, to the tune of more than $70,000.