A wide variety of individuals work for St John either as staff or give up their time and skills to volunteer, and the organisation relies on all of them to provide a wide range of services for the community.
Joan Tostevin has been involved In St John for over 50 years in various guises and now is chairman of the Fellowship.
Joan served in St John Ambulance from 1960 before retiring in 1984 then joined St John Fellowship in 2001 and for the past five years has served as its chairman.
‘I have always been interested in the medical world and I did some first aid and home nursing training through the teaching of SJA instructors Michael Dene and the late Anne de Jersey. I joined the Guernsey Nursing Division in 1960 because I wanted to put these skills into practice by helping and caring for people.’
‘I worked my way up through the ranks attaining the position of Divisional Officer. I then transferred to the Rohais Nursing Cadet Division in 1978 with the rank of Divisional Superintendent and then went on to become Bailiwick Staff officer. I retired in 1984 after 25 years’ service.’
Joan is passionate about her voluntary work and is keen to encourage others to join the organisation. She joined the St John Fellowship in 2001 and found that she could continue to serve the community by supporting St John in a non-medical role.
‘A Guernsey Branch of St John Fellowship was formed in 1985 and was set up to enable retired members of St John Ambulance and their spouses and partners to continue to serve the Order of St John and its Commandery.’
‘Its aims and objectives are to enable former members of St John to keep in touch with each other, arrange meetings and social events and outings and contact former members who are housebound or in hospital.’
Joan explains that it also aims to support all units in providing services to the local Community such as the distribution and collection of books for the St John Library Service and by volunteering to help with various Charities throughout the Island.
‘St John Fellowship Guernsey is self-governing and self-financing and offers satisfaction in its service to the Community, It also offers friendship and is a lot of fun. The Membership meet at an informal lunch every two months.
Says Joan, ‘I have had a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction from my work over the years and made some very good friends along the way, you do become like a family.’
If any former members of St John Ambulance are interested in joining the Fellowship or would like more details, please contact me on 263076 or Secretary Pam Bartlett on 247357.‘
We are grateful to the Guernsey Press for use of the imagery and text which were published in January 2017.