'Wonderful to see': Volunteers recognised for their vital work

St John volunteers who received service awards with the Mayor of Lowestoft Alan Green

St John volunteers from Lowestoft who received service awards with the Mayor of Lowestoft Alan Green at their recent annual awards presentation event. - Credit: Mick Howes

St John Ambulance volunteers from Lowestoft have been recognised for their service to the charity at a prestigious event.

The vital work, dedication, service and achievements of Suffolk's St John Ambulance volunteers was honoured recently.

With a service of thanksgiving and the annual awards presentation event held at St Mary Le Tower Church in Ipswich last month, long service medals and bars were handed out at the ceremony.

Suffolk St John volunteers and guests at their recent annual awards presentation event

Suffolk St John volunteers and guests at their recent Annual Awards presentation event at St Mary Le Tower Church in Ipswich. - Credit: Mick Howes

As the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Clare Countess of Euston and the High Sheriff of Suffolk, Major Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton looked on, those present also witnessed awards going to Suffolk volunteers which amounted to an amazing 1525 volunteer years.

Mayor of Lowestoft Alan Green was equally honoured to be invited along to the event that celebrated "years of dedicated service by volunteers" - including many based in Lowestoft.

With 2022 marking 100 years of the St John youth movement, at the event youth achievement awards were presented.

The James Brownfield Memorial Trophy for the highest-achieving unit in Suffolk was awarded to Ipswich Unit who in 2021 alone contributed 3600 hours to volunteering.

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Laura Wallace, county president for Suffolk St John Ambulance, said: “The impact of the pandemic meant that this event had to be delayed and the ceremony actually celebrated the long service achievements of volunteers during 2019 and 2020 with the 2021 service awards to be presented at a later date.”

Lee Taylor, district manager for St John Ambulance Suffolk, added: “It was wonderful to see so many local volunteers being recognised for their enthusiasm and commitment to the work of St John and I am so grateful for all the time they have given to the charity.

"All have incredible stories to tell and are testament to the fact that first aid saves lives."

When Covid struck in 2020, St John Ambulance proactively redeployed volunteers when public events had to stop - as they provided care in hospitals, on ambulances and support for the vaccination project.

For further details about St John Ambulance visit www.sja.org.uk