25 February 2022: St John Ambulance student volunteer Amy Hughes, 21, has been awarded a prestigious Points of Light award by the Prime Minister in recognition for her outstanding contribution to the health and first aid charity. 

Amy, a University of Portsmouth student, has volunteered tirelessly throughout St John Ambulance’s ongoing response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Working on the frontline, she cared for patients at the NHS London Nightingale Hospital for more than a month before volunteering in Accident and Emergency Departments where she regularly did 12-hour shifts. She also qualified as a volunteer vaccinator and gave hundreds of jabs. 

In addition to this extraordinary contribution, Amy, who comes from Abergavenny, South Wales, last year led her university student unit in training 300 members of the public in life saving CPR skills as well as qualifying as ambulance crew. She is now volunteering on ambulances responding to 999 calls across the south of England from London to Bristol. 

Amy, who has volunteered with St John Ambulance since she was 18 years old, said: “I am really honoured that the Prime Minister has written to me personally to thank me for my work as a volunteer. The last two years have been tough at times, and I have experienced unforgettable things like holding someone’s hand as they unexpectedly passed away in A&E, but it has also been a really rewarding experience which I have loved.

“I have really grown as a person volunteering for St John. Each day I learn something new that I can use in everyday life, not just about first aid, but also how to communicate with people and deal with pressure. I have also made some amazing friends through my volunteering and have created long-lasting memories with them.” 

Amy has gained so much from her experiences volunteering through the pandemic that she is now pursuing a Master’s degree in paramedic science, after she has completed her current studies in photography. 

Jon Knight, director of youth & volunteer development, St John Ambulance said:  

“Huge congratulations to Amy who truly deserves this award. Amy is a shining example of the excellent service St John student volunteers have given to communities throughout the pandemic. As well as supporting the NHS on an ambulance and completing over 1,200 volunteering hours in 2020, she also leads a team of student volunteers – and all while studying! I’m so proud of her for all she’s achieved, and grateful for the hundreds of student volunteers like her around the country.” 

Amy is the daily Point of Light award winner for Friday 25 February 2022 – she is the UK’s 1867th Point of Light. 

The award is Government cross-party supported programme recognising outstanding individual volunteers and highlighting the positive change people are making in their communities and to inspire others to volunteer. 

St John is one of the largest volunteering organisations in the country, offering many different volunteering opportunities from vaccination support for the NHS programme to first aiders and support team members.

St John Ambulance relies on volunteers and donations and without this support, none of this would be possible.