Boris Johnson calls St John Ambulance’s team in Cornwall

March 12, 2021: Prime Minister Boris Johnson joined a video call to thank St John Ambulance’s vaccination volunteers yesterday afternoon (Thursday March 11).

Recognising the incredible effort of volunteers in vaccination centres across the country, he took the opportunity to thank individuals for their hard work and was taken on a virtual tour of the Truro Showground vaccination centre in Stithians by St John Ambulance’s Nicola Fielding.

The PM spent 15 minutes talking to St John vaccination volunteers over Zoom, including watching one of them – retired dentist Jacqui Stembridge – deliver a COVID-19 jab.

Boris Johnson & St John Ambulance volunteers.jpgBoris Johnson & St John Ambulance volunteers

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “It was a privilege to speak to NHS Volunteer Responders and St John Ambulance Vaccination Volunteers in Rochdale and Cornwall today, to thank them for their extraordinary contribution to the vaccine rollout.

“Our brilliant volunteers have helped us get jabs into arms quickly and efficiently – providing millions of people with the reassurance that they are protected against the virus. We couldn’t do it without them, and I am incredibly grateful for their continued dedication and hard work.”

St John Ambulance is supporting the NHS COVID-19 response, including providing volunteer vaccinators to deliver injections and many more volunteers who care for people before and after they receive their jabs.

Boris Johnson with Angie Strange, Nicola Fielding and Jacqui Stembridge.jpgBoris Johnson with Angie Strange, Nicola Fielding and Jacqui Stembridge

The health and first aid charity is training more than 30,000 vaccination volunteers overall, using its longstanding expertise in empowering people with lifesaving clinical skills and the confidence to use them, every day.

St John Ambulance’s CEO, Martin Houghton-Brown said: “I am delighted that the Prime Minister has seen for himself what I have seen for this last year, that these volunteers who are making such a remarkable difference in this pandemic are ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things.

“It is wonderful that some of our number have today had the chance to tell their stories and show what is possible when we empower communities to help communities, as St John has been doing every day of this crisis for the past year.”

Following his tour of the Stithians site, the Prime Minister spent several minutes chatting to Nicola, Jacqui and Angie Strange about their work as volunteers on the vaccination programme.

“Talking to the Prime Minister was a bit nerve-wracking, but it was an honour to represent St John and I’m so proud of all our vaccination volunteers, from people who’ve volunteered with us for years to everyone who’s joined us over the last few months,” said Nicola Fielding, from Bodmin, who is the charity’s volunteer clinical lead for Cornwall.

“The response has been amazing and the commitment of everyone involved in the vaccination programme is fantastic.”

In addition to meeting St John Ambulance volunteers, the Prime Minister was also introduced to NHS Volunteer Responder (NHSVR) stewards at One Riverside in Rochdale.

The NHSVR scheme is run in partnership with Royal Voluntary Service and the GoodSAM app. Royal Voluntary Service has also worked in partnership with St John and recruited around 8,500 volunteers from the NHS Volunteer Responders programme. 

By the end of next week, as the vaccination programme gathers pace, St John volunteers will be active in almost 100 large scale vaccination centres and dozens of primary care facilities.