Mosque welcome for new members

Mosque enrolment for members

A Muslim teenager and eight other volunteers were formally enrolled as members of first aid charity St John Ambulance, at a Southampton Mosque.

Unique event

Among the group were Sannah Dad, 15, from Eastleigh, the Countess of Portsmouth who is President of St John Ambulance in Hampshire and Chrissie Morse, President of the Eastleigh division.

In Hampshire, enrolments have traditionally taken place in church – but Sannah and her family asked for the official welcome to be conducted in their place of worship.

St John Ambulance has always been multi-faith

Harry Dymond
St John Ambulance Enrolling Officer

Rashid Brora, Secretary of the Medina Mosque, welcomed the idea and said: ‘It is an honour.  It is a first where Muslims and non-Muslims have come together to celebrate something in this Mosque.’

Harry Dymond, St John Ambulance Chief Commissioner Operations and the ceremony’s Enrolling Officer, described it as a unique event.

‘This is the first time a St John Ambulance enrolment ceremony has been held in a Mosque.

‘I must say a very, very special thank you to the committee of the Mosque who are absolutely fantastic in welcoming us here.’

He added: ‘St John Ambulance has always been multi-faith and we have people from all religions who are members. I am absolutely delighted that Southampton is the first city to have conducted such a ceremony.

‘I must also say a special thank you to Sannah and her mother who asked if this could be possible.’

Sannah, a pupil at The Toynbee School, Chandlers Ford, joined St John Ambulance in January and was supported by friends and colleagues from Eastleigh.

They were among more than 50 guests at the ceremony and enjoyed wonderful hospitality from the Mosque community.

In Hampshire there are more than 1,000 members of the charity.  Nationally there are over 23,000 adult members and nearly 20,000 young members who can be seen in their distinctive uniforms helping the public throughout the country on a daily basis.