June 15, 2022: On Friday June 10 2022, Steve Barclay MP visited St John Ambulance volunteers in north east Cambridgeshire to discuss their lifesaving work.  

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Steve, who is also the Downing Street Chief of Staff, was shown around the first aid and health response charity’s Whittlesey Unit and discussed the role of local volunteers in the community, the first aid services they provide and fundraising opportunities to support the unit’s work. 

During his visit, volunteers provided an overview of the history of St John activities in the area, delivered a demonstration of a full resuscitation scenario and talked through different first aid and heritage items.  

Steven was briefed on the unit’s latest local projects which included strengthening adult volunteer recruitment to support the delivery of St John Ambulance’s Badger and Cadet youth programmes and plans to set up a local museum to display the history of St John’s activities in Whittlesey.  

Whittlesey’s St John volunteers have played their part in supporting the charity’s response to the pandemic, by training as vaccinators and providing ambulance crews to support the NHS.  

Stephen Barclay MP for North Cambridgeshire, said:  

“I was extremely impressed to learn about the wide range of services provided in Whittlesey by St John Ambulance. St John volunteers have played a vital role in supporting the NHS and local communities helping to deliver over 1.5 million hours of service in hospitals, on ambulances, at events and through community projects in Cambridgeshire.  

We have all seen them ready to provide first aid cover at local events in WhittIesey and across the Fenlands. I was extremely interested to hear about the Whittlesey Unit’s desire to grow the number of adult volunteers to expand their local services. I encourage people from across North Cambridgeshire to support St John’s work to support communities and save lives”.  

John Aidley, St John Ambulance Whittlesey Unit Manager said:  

“We were absolutely delighted to welcome Mr Barclay to our Whittlesey Unit. We are best known for our presence at events and providing first aid courses, but we offer so much more than this. Visits such as this give valuable publicity and encourage more people to support us.  

Right now, we are actively recruiting for Adult Volunteers and Youth Leaders in the Cambridgeshire area. The youth and adults are an integral part of the life of the community in Whittlesey.  

St John Ambulance Chief of Staff, James Radford said:  

“I would like to congratulate and thank our incredible volunteers in Whittlesey for everything they do to serve their local community and support first aid resilience across Cambridgeshire.  

At St John we want to develop and maintain the capacity we need as the nation’s auxiliary ambulance service; to retain and engage thousands of volunteers who have joined us during the pandemic to help their communities through first aid; and to ensure the expertise of skilled volunteers like ours is included in future planning for emergency resilience and response.” 

St John is now looking at how it can build a legacy from the pandemic, ensuring clinically trained volunteers are ready to help the NHS and local communities when needed. 

To find out more about St John Ambulance’s amazing volunteers and their work please visit www.sja.org.uk or contact Volunteeringnational@sja.org.uk