06 May, 2020: St John Ambulance volunteers are among the unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic featured in a new BBC documentary.

Launched on iPlayer today (Wednesday May 6) Stacey Dooley’s Lockdown Heroes features two of the 5,000-plus St John people who have stepped up to support the NHS and their communities during the current health emergency.

Serena Baachas is supporting patients at the Lewisham & Greenwich Hospital, and Richard Salter has been volunteering at the NHS Nightingale Hospital in London.

With Stacey Dooley in lockdown at home, the two of them have been in touch with her via video conferencing, as well as submitting video diaries and being shadowed by a camera crew, being careful to maintain appropriate social distancing at all times.

Following their first video call, Stacey says of Serena and Richard: “The loveliest people – total sweethearts and just so selfless.

“I think that’s what I find so impressive; volunteering and putting yourself forward to look after strangers. It’s just really brilliant.”

The 30-minute documentary gives an insight into Richard and Serena’s volunteering experience with St John, as well as how their everyday lives – and those of other contributors from around the UK – have been affected by the pandemic.

St John Ambulance continues to support the NHS, providing more than 1,000 hours of clinical support every day – including 8,000 hours in the first five days of May.

The charity’s latest figures show that, during April:

  • St John Ambulance provided 15,601 hours of ambulance support and 13,065 hours of hospital support (excluding the NHS Nightingale Hospital), on the frontline of the fight against coronavirus.
  • 5,110 St John people stepped forward to support the COVID-19 response on the frontline and behind the scenes.
  • In total, St John volunteers provided 89,101 hours of service.

As well as being available on BBC iPlayer, Stacey Dooley’s Lockdown Heroes is due to be broadcast on BBC One later this month.

You can read more about the documentary, including interviews with Serena and Richard, on the BBC Three website.

And if you would like to support St John Ambulance’s volunteers, please consider a donation to our emergency fundraising appeal.