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First aid charity for Wales recognises volunteer heroes

ST JOHN Ambulance Cymru rewarded the volunteers who have gone over and above for the charity at its annual Investiture ceremony on Saturday 15th June.

Volunteers from across Wales came together at Llandaff Cathedral to be rewarded for their hard work and be officially welcomed into the Priory for Wales, which is an independent Priory within the Order of St John, a working Order of Chivalry of the British Crown.

14 volunteers were officially invested into or promoted within the Priory for Wales, as recognition of their ongoing efforts keeping their communities safe. The service was also attended by a number of guests from across Wales, including senior members of the charity, local councillors and civic dignitaries.

People are nominated to join the Priory for Wales for demonstrating values of devotion, togetherness, faithfulness, diversity and inclusiveness in their volunteer work. Some individuals also received long service awards, while members of the charity’s Badger and Cadet groups aged 5-17 received their official certificates at the service.

One of the volunteers that was recognised at the event was Rachael, who has been a St John Ambulance Cymru member for over 35 years. Rachael, aged 45, works as a registered GP and is based in Griffithstown. Already this year she has spent over 300 hours of her spare time volunteering and has dedicated much of her life to supporting her community.

She commented: “It’s a true honour to be recognised for the work I have been delighted and privileged to undertake with St John Ambulance Cymru.

“It is important for me to be able to give back to the wider community with the skills I’ve been taught.” 

Another individual named David was similarly awarded for showing a special commitment to volunteering. David, who is based in Deeside, joined the organisation in 2011 and during this time has committed a great deal to keeping his community safe through first aid.

Most recently in October 2023, David saved a friend’s wife using CPR after she suffered a cardiac arrest at Liverpool Football Club. His first aid skills have been a real lifeline to those around him.

He said: “I volunteer because I love the comradery, meeting up with people and passing on knowledge to younger members.

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“I feel more than honoured to have been nominated to join the Order within the Priory for Wales. I’m over the moon.”

Now as members of the Priory for Wales, Rachael and David, along with the other volunteers who were rewarded, are now officially part of the Order of St John.

Paul Griffiths OBE, KStJ, DL, the Prior for Wales, said: “We are so proud of everyone who was recognised at our Investiture Service over the weekend.

“Volunteers are the beating heart of St John Ambulance Cymru and it’s important to us as a charity to recognise their efforts and show how grateful we are for their hard work.

“A huge congratulations to all of the wonderful volunteers who were awarded and thank you for everything you do keeping your communities safe.”

St John Ambulance Cymru are recruiting volunteers to join their teams across Wales. You don’t need to have any previous training to sign up, just a passion to help others. To find out more, please visit www.sjacymru.org.uk today.