Basingstoke first aiders
Basingstoke's St John Ambulance first
aiders have been honoured for their astonishing voluntary
Pat Bethel, from Basingstoke, who now runs the
Youth section of St John Ambulance Hampshire, volunteered for a
total of 2000 hours last year.
Mrs Bethel, who is a midwife, volunteered for
40 hours a week – the equivalent of a full time job. She
joined the charity 17 years ago when her daughter Dawn became a
Our aim as a charity is to make the difference between lives lost and lives saved.
Commander, St John Ambulance
Dawn now runs the children's Badger and Cadet
groups in the town and her son Reece is the county's deputy Badger
of the Year.
Dame Mary Fagan, Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire,
presented the awards.
Stalwart Basingstoke volunteer David Smith was
also honoured for devoting 70 years to the charity – he joined in
1940 at the age of 19.
Mr Smith, who was unable to attend the
ceremony, has been a loyal and conscientious member of St John
Ambulance. He commands deep affection and respect from fellow
members – indeed they say it is a privilege to know him and work
He has seen many changes – not least the
Basingstoke headquarters. He has helped the division move
four times – starting out at the Methodist Church Hall in Lower
Church Street, then to Victoria Street followed by May Place and
finally to Knights Park Road five years ago.
Other local members honoured were Julie
Matthews, from Oakley, for 12 years service. Natalie and Matthew
Hilton, also from Oakley, received certificates for providing
support during the severe winter months.
Commander of St John Ambulance, Pat Morris,
paid tribute: 'Our aim as a charity is to make the difference
between lives lost and lives saved.
'Our dedicated volunteers, do make the
difference to people's lives.'
Last year, St John volunteers in Hampshire
gave over 180,000 hours to the charity.