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2019 Everyday Heroes awards celebrates the incredible impact of our everyday heroes across the country

On the 7 October 2019, we showcased the incredible actions of our everyday heroes in local communities, workplaces, and through young people.

Taking place at the Hilton London Bankside, the awards ceremony was hosted by the Reverend Richard Coles, musician, broadcaster, and Church of England priest. He said:

'I was honoured to be invited to host the Everyday Heroes awards again this year and had no doubt that I'd hear another set of amazing stories - I certainly haven't been disappointed. I hope their stories will inspire many others to volunteer, learn new skills, and be confident to help when it really matters.'

We announced the winners and highly commended finalists of each award category:

  • • Community Hero
  • • Young Hero
  • • Workplace Hero
  • • Volunteer Hero

We also announced the finalists for the Volunteer of the Year award and the Lifetime Contribution to St John award.

Our 2019 Everyday Heroes Awards finalists…

Community Hero award

Hastings Homeless Service – winnerHastings Homeless Service with Rev Richard Coles.

Volunteers at St John Ambulance Hastings Homeless Service have supported the homeless and vulnerably housed people in Hastings and St Leonards-on-Sea for 15 years. Since the service was founded in 2004, it has grown from five volunteers to 17, including seven fully qualified Nurses.

Lead Nurse volunteer, Sandy Collver, aged 67, is one of the incredible team members who staff the service. Not only has she conducted more clinics than any other Nurse, she is always going the extra mile to ensure effective communication between service users, the Homeless Service and the NHS, to make sure patients receive optimal care. On one particular occasion, Sandy persuaded a service user suffering suicidal thoughts to go to hospital, where she stayed with them until a treatment plan had been agreed.

Peter Hollely, Soho Angels – highly commended

Peter Hollely helped to set up and run Soho Angels, a service that works in partnership with St John Ambulance to offer vital medical care and support to people on a night out in central London, easing pressure on the emergency services. An NHS Nurse by profession and Clinical and Events Lead, St John Ambulance volunteer, Peter is cited as being the inspiration for the Soho Angels team.

As well as giving many volunteer hours to the Night Hub on Fridays, he has played a key part in building the team, patiently sharing his expertise and knowledge and using strong leadership skills. Since its launch in December 2018, the scheme has helped around 160 people in the Hub and 600 on the streets.


Young Hero award

Logan Chatfield – age 12 and under winner

Logan Chatfield with Rev Richard Coles.

Logan was only 10 years old when he awoke to find his grandad in severe pain. Logan, a Cadet who had only completed his emergency first aid training the week before, acted quickly and calmly assessing his grandad and taking control of the emergency. Asking his grandma to dial 999, Logan loosened all of his grandad’s clothing and seated him comfortably as close to the ‘W’ position as he could get. When the ambulance crew arrived, Logan coherently gave as much information about his grandad as he could. Logan’s grandad has recovered well after emergency cardiac surgery and Logan’s family are forever grateful for his decisive actions and for the first aid skills he was taught in Cadets.


Gabriel and Jack Walker – ages 13-18 winner

Jack and Gabriel Walker.Teenage brothers Gabriel and Jack gave life saving CPR and first aid in a traumatic suicide attempt near their home earlier this year. Gabriel, just 14 at the time, was preparing for bed when he heard a woman screaming for help. After telling his parents, he and Jack, then 15, went outside and was thrust into a horrific scene – a group in a neighbour’s garage gathered round a man who was in the process of being cut down after trying to hang himself.

Gabriel, who had learned St John Ambulance first aid at army cadets, gave chest compressions while another neighbour gave rescue breaths. Jack, also an army cadet, took over communication with the 999 operator. After several minutes of CPR the man began breathing. In case he had broken his neck, Gabriel kept him on his back but with his head supported and airway open. The brothers have been praised for their courage in this most harrowing of emergencies.

Jack Smith – ages 13-18 winnerConnor and Jack Smith.

Army cadet Jack was just 14 when he had to perform vital life saving first aid on his younger brother Connor after a horrific BMX accident last year. When Conor, then 13 tried to stand up and immediately collapsed, Jack raced down on his own bike and took decisive action. He saw that Connor was bleeding heavily from the stomach and groin so ripped off his shirt and put pressure on the wound to stem the blood flow, while calling 999. He continued to apply pressure and reassure his brother until the ambulance arrived. Conor is on his way to a full recovery thanks to the courage and skills of his big brother.


Volunteer Hero award

Lydia Hancock and Alicia Lord – winnerLydia and Alicia with Rev Richard Coles and Ann Cable.

Young adult volunteers Lydia and Alicia prevented a young man from taking his own life while they were on duty at the Brighton Marathon earlier this year. The pair were the newest adult first aiders on the team and had been dispatched on foot patrol with three Cadets when they came across the young man sitting dangerously close to the edge of the cliff.

Knowing the severity of the situation, the pair led the Cadets away from potential harm before approaching the man. With immense skill and courage, they managed to talk the man down from the cliff edge and safely into the awaiting ambulance where he could receive further help. The two have been highly praised by their St John unit for their bravery in saving the young man’s life.


Natalia Perdek and Tarhan Ibrahim – highly commendedNatalia and Tarhan with Rev Richard Coles and Ann Cable.

LINKS volunteers Natalia and Tarhan performed CPR for nearly half an hour on a member of the public who was in cardiac arrest. The pair were on their way home from a LINKS social event when they noticed someone on the floor with two bystanders standing over them. Natalia and Tarhan quickly took control of the situation and were handed the phone so they could communicate with 999.

After checking the patient’s response and breathing, the two students lost no time in performing CPR on the woman. With no AED nearby, the pair took turns administering chest compressions and rescue breaths for more than 20 minutes until the ambulance arrived. The young pair then spent an hour with the emergency services afterwards and were praised by the Police Chief for their courage and commitment to saving the woman’s life.


Workplace Hero award

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) – winnerIain Ferguson with Rev Richard Coles.

Iain Ferguson (Head of Safety and Sustainability) and his team oversaw the installation of 135 life saving defibrillators in nationwide railway stations and trains in the last 12 months. These life saving machines were purchased from St John Ambulance who have trained more than 50 LNER Managers who have gone on to share their knowledge with 2,000 employees. This equipment is likely to make a significant difference to the survival chances of casualties. In the past, trains have had to make their way back to stations in order for a patient to receive life saving treatment and this loses the patient critical time. This is a significant and inspiring investment into employee and passenger health by LNER.


Chris Youngs – highly commendedChris Youngs with Rev Richard Coles.

It was an otherwise normal day at work at Epson Downs racecourse for Groundskeeper Chris Youngs when his colleague collapsed against some railings. After shouting over to see if his colleague was ok, he noticed the man was unresponsive and started turning blue. Chris was quick to act and utilise the first aid skills he had learned on a St John Ambulance First Aid at Work course the previous year. He directed another colleague to dial 999 while he performed CPR. In an isolated location, Chris had no choice but to perform CPR while also having to relay key patient information to the emergency operator on speakerphone. Chris continued to support the patient while he was loaded into the air ambulance. The patient has since made a full recovery which may not have been possible without Chris’ actions.


Volunteer of the Year award

Heidi Doggett – winnerHeidi Doggett with Rev Richard Coles and Ann Cable.

Heidi Doggett is the unsung hero behind St John Ambulance’s events cover for Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland – a vast geographical area which includes five stadiums, all requiring first aid cover for most of the year. Heidi’s current role as District Events Lead is incredibly challenging, but she meets every problem with a calming influence.

Following a cardiac arrest at a recent Northampton Saints match, Heidi assisted in the dispatching of first aiders to the patient, personally delivered equipment to the teams, liaised with stadium/ambulance staff to manage the scene and provided support to volunteers afterwards to ensure their welfare and wellbeing.

Lifetime Contribution to St John award

Pauline Kent – winner

Lynford Brunt and Pauline Kent.Pauline Kent joined St John Ambulance as a Cadet in 1963, and has held numerous roles including Divisional Nursing Officer and County Nursing Officer. Throughout her 50 plus years of service to St John, Pauline has passed on a wealth of her nursing expertise to all levels of the organisation from Badgers, Cadets to adult volunteers. Pauline is now a very active Emergency Medical Technician and guides her St John teams out at events, to ensure the best quality of care is always delivered in our communities.

Lynford Brunt – winner

Lynford Brunt has volunteered with St John for more than 63 years in multiple roles, all the way from Cadet to Commander in the Order. He has dedicated much of his life leading on transforming St John activities across communities, through acting as the Commander for the South and West Yorkshire, member of the Norfolk District Team and the Priory Chapter.


Photo credit: Johnny Green.