Ten dedicated St John Ambulance volunteers have been presented with long service medals by the Lieutenant Governor at a special ceremony at Government House.
Mark Guilbert was the longest serving volunteer to be recognised having started as a St John cadet at the age of 12 and then serving for 40 years. During his time with St John Mark became an adult volunteer and trainer and was promoted to the rank of Commissioner of Operations. Mark won the National St John first aid competition and also served as a one of Guernsey’s first volunteer Community First Responders.
Mark said: “As a volunteer it is great giving something back to the community, but there is also the satisfaction of knowing that your actions may save a life. As a trainer it was always great to get feedback that your training has enabled others to use those skills for real.”Trish De Carteret and Dr Rachel Major both received 4th bars to their long service medals, having volunteered with St John for 30 years.
Trish became a St John cadet when she was 10 years old having left Brownies and not wanting to join Guides. As an adult Trish worked as a youth leader when she reached 18 and later went on to become Commissioner of Youth.
Trish has fond memories of her time as a youth leader: “I loved working with the young people and helping to develop the skills of the young members. There were many highlights, including taking 30 cadets to Biberach in Germany on camp with the German Red Cross. I have got a great sense of worth, helping people, teaching, attending public duties, safeguarding and helping lead the organisation. Now I get pleasure working with the Fellowship keeping the retired members connected.Dr Rachel Major always knew she wanted to do something in health and felt that St John would be a good place to help her gain experience. Rachel went on to qualify as a nurse and now teaches new generations of health care professionals at the Institute.
Rachel has been a divisional superintendent of a cadet division, been a Badger leader, the Bailiwick Nursing Office, Health and Social Care Manager and now Safeguarding Manager for St John.
She said: “I have met so many brilliant people over the years, both in St John and members of the public. Highlights would include seeing badgers and cadets grow and flourish. Over the years I have gained a lot from volunteering. It helped me to develop confidence and leadership skills. I have met people I may never have met otherwise. I first learnt to teach in St John and continue to teach and assess St John members. For me it is important to give back to the community and that gives me a great deal of satisfaction.”Wilma De La Mare was presented with her 2nd bar having completed 20 years of service.
Husband and wife Jason and Annette Gallienne who have volunteered for 20 and 15 years respectively also received their long service bars.
Fiona Naftel was presented with her long service medal and 1st bar having completed 15 years service. Tony Robert was presented with his 1st bar after 15 years service.
Tom Burnett and Bertram De La Mare were presented with their long service medals for 10 years service.
St John Ambulance Guernsey Chief Executive Officer Heather Langlois paid tribute to all those who received awards: “St John is an organisation which provides a wide range of services to our local community. With their varying degrees of experience, skillsets, and backgrounds our diverse group of volunteers dedicate countless hours to caring for those around them, some of whom have given years of their life to the service. For their time, efforts, commitment, and passion over the years I extend my personal thanks, for without them we could not do what we do best, care for life.”