St John volunteer shortlisted for national award

Tom Burnett, a volunteer from St John, has been shortlisted in the “Volunteer of the year” category of the national St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes awards.

These national awards celebrate the incredible stories of ordinary people who have used first aid to save a life and features nominees who have gone the extra mile to teach, learn, practice and support first aid in their community.

Advanced First Aider, Mr Burnett gained support from St John in 2015 to launch a new motorbike safety initiative, which is modelled on the Biker Down scheme pioneered by Kent Fire and Rescue Service.

Since 2015 he has delivered a free of charge monthly four hour course that provides much needed life-saving skills to the motorcycle enthusiasts on the island. Around 100 Guernsey bikers have gained basic first-aid skills through the scheme and five new volunteers have joined St John as a result of their experience.

Nikki Harrison, Operations manager said: “Tom has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in initiating the Biker Down scheme and his shortlisting at national level is an excellent endorsement of his efforts as a volunteer. He is an exceptional first aider and leader in his division and earlier this year he received the members’ award from his division recognising his efforts.  It is fitting to celebrate Tom’s commitment to St John as volunteer week in Guernsey draws to a close.

We wish Tom the best of luck and hope this will inspire more people to volunteer with St John.”

Mr Burnett said: “I’ve been a volunteer with St John for around six years and have enjoyed attending and playing a vital part in a number of public events – my particular favourite is motorsports.

“I feel extremely proud that I have been nominated for such a prestigious award. I was surprised to receive recognition for something that every member of St John does on a regular basis – they give up their time to make a difference and support the local community. I was even more pleased that it was the work I had put into Biker Down road safety initiative that had brought me to the attention of those who nominated me. I could not have done it without the rest of the Biker Down team and would like to say a big thank you to all that have made and continue to make the course such a success.”

The top three finalists will be invited along to the Everyday Heroes awards ceremony which takes place at The Grange St Paul’s Hotel in London on 7 September, where the overall winner will be announced.

Tom Burnett