From Serving your Country to Serving your Community: St John Ambulance Achieves Silver Status in the Armed Forces Covenant

Monday, 04 September 2023: St John Ambulance, the nation's leading first aid and healthcare charity, is proud to announce that it has been awarded Silver status in the Armed Forces Covenant, signifying its unwavering commitment to supporting those who serve and have served in the armed forces, along with their families.  

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Earlier today, representatives from the Army, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and Military Wives Choir joined St John Ambulance in London to officially mark the occasion and publicly commit to treating all members of the military fairly and respectfully. Backed by the Ministry of Defence, the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS), encourages organisations to actively support the armed forces community by signing this agreement, which St John is honoured to do. 

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This prestigious scheme awards Bronze, Silver, and Gold accolades to employers who align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant and champion the welfare – including facilitating employment and volunteering opportunities - for the armed forces community.  

Achieving Silver Status shows St John Ambulance prides itself on the same ethos of service, dedication, and helping people, like the military does, ensuring that compassion and aid are always at the forefront.  Also, similar to the military, St John’s volunteers and staff have been there for the nation in times of need for decades, keeping communities safe, dealing with life or death situations and relieving pressure on the NHS.   

St John can provide an easy transition for veterans with roles matched to military skills, but it also offers a diverse range of new challenges in fundraising, youth programmes, HR and more. Veterans can pursue employed or volunteer positions aligned to their interests post-service. The range of options enables those who have served to use their abilities beyond the Armed Forces.   

Antonia Reed, Head of People Services at St John and former member of the RAF, emphasised the significance of the Covenant, stating: "Our commitment to the Covenant demonstrates and celebrates our pledge to support the Armed Forces, including Serving Regulars, Veterans, and Reservists, and their families. 

"We take great pride in ensuring that our colleagues and volunteers, many of whom have military connections, are not disadvantaged in any way.  

"Our Medical Director, Dr. Lynn Thomas, is a prime example as she served for almost 28 years as a Medical Officer in the Royal Navy. Swapping one uniform for another, she continues to serve with exceptional dedication."  

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St John Ambulance's remarkable journey from Bronze to Silver status is a testament to its ongoing commitment. Several key initiatives have been implemented to elevate its support for the armed forces community:  


Seamless Experience: St John created a transferable skills matrix for recruitment purposes, ensuring a smooth transition for individuals joining St John Ambulance from the armed forces. 

Armed Forces Career Pathway: St John has developed a specific  

Armed Forces career pathway, providing veterans and reservists with opportunities for meaningful employment. 

Armed Forces People Network: The newly established network fosters connections, shares experiences, and provides vital support for the armed forces community within the charity. 

Mental Health Advocates: St John has appointed Mental Health Advocates with Armed Forces backgrounds to provide valuable support whenever needed. 

Strategic Partnerships: Collaborations with esteemed charities and MOD-linked organisations, including the Career Transition Partnership, SSAFA, and Forces Families, have been forged. 

Stakeholder Engagement: St John has actively engaged with key stakeholders, including the Ministry of Defence, further strengthening its commitment.  


"We are absolutely thrilled to achieve Silver status so soon after joining the Armed Forces Covenant. Our team has worked tirelessly to lay strong foundations, always keeping the experiences of the armed forces community in mind. This recognition is a testament to our heartfelt dedication and enthusiasm in embracing the Covenant's values.   

“We will continue to work with our Armed Forces Network to analyse where we can improve our support to the military community to achieve Gold status in the near future." said Antonia Reed.  

Looking ahead, St John Ambulance remains steadfast in its mission to deeply embed the Covenant's principles throughout the organisation as well as ensuring that all employees and volunteers actively participate in creating a warm and inclusive environment for the armed forces community.  

For more information about St John Ambulance and our commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant, please email