Wednesday 18th August: Andrew Lloyd Webber has publicly thanked hundreds of St John Ambulance volunteers with a sneak peek of his new musical, Cinderella, at the Gillian Lynne Theatre. The exclusive invited dress rehearsal, for key workers and volunteers who have gone above and beyond throughout the pandemic, took place on Tuesday night, ahead of the production’s full reopening on Wednesday 18th August. This performance was one of the very first times Cinderella was performed to a full capacity audience.    

This invitation comes with special recognition of the vital role of St. John Ambulance volunteers in the rollout of the nationwide vaccination programme, without which many theatrical and entertainment productions would be impossible.  

Of the one million-plus hours of service provided by St John volunteers, so far, 60% of the time has been on the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme, with emergency ambulance crews, hospital volunteering, community projects, and making sure events such as live music and sporting fixtures can happen in a safe, COVID-secure way, making up the rest. 

The charity’s work continues, with tens of thousands more hours delivered on the frontline every week and the invitation to be part of the exclusive Cinderella performance is in recognition of that. 

Madeleine Lloyd Webber, a trained St John volunteer vaccinator, said: “Having been a St John Ambulance volunteer vaccinator, I can vouch first-hand that this is an extraordinary organisation. 

“It is often taken for granted and left an unsung hero. It is amazing to see that St John volunteers have put in over one million hours into easing pressure on the NHS, including via the vaccination effort, with vital first aid training, incredible logistics and planning and the dedicated army of skilled volunteers.  

“I’m thrilled that we can help recognise their enormous contribution to this country in our time of need. Without the work of organisations like St John Ambulance, this opening of Cinderella, and so much else, would never have been possible.” 

Madeleine is one of more than 30,000 volunteers who went through a rigorous recruitment process with the health and first aid charity, and were given extensive training to deliver jabs safely and skilfully. 

Martin Houghton-Brown, CEO, St John Ambulance, added: “This is such a wonderful opportunity for our amazing volunteers to get the recognition they deserve for their tireless efforts over the past 17 months. 

“We are thrilled that the Lloyd Webbers have taken it upon themselves to extend a personal thank-you, with this special performance. 

“We are as delighted as he is that live events with large crowds can resume safely so that we can get back to providing first aid cover, alongside supporting the nation’s health through the pandemic.”

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