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Volunteers’ Week Blog

This week is the 30th anniversary of Volunteers’ Week, and we want to thank our 20,000 plus volunteers who work year-round to provide first aid in communities up and down the country. Hear from our volunteers, in their own words, about what their role means to them.

 carol trigg

Carol Trigg, First Aid Trainer

After four decades with the organisation, in 2012, I experienced major deterioration in my vision. This meant my role as unit manager had to change.

Despte my vision loss I wanted to continue being a first aid trainer. I attended a trainers’ weekend and went on to be appointed as Area Training Specialist (ATS) for St John Ambulance in South Staffordshire.

In my role as ATS I oversee the volunteer units in my area, and help to maintain standards and training for all of the volunteers. I love being part of the training team, and knowing that I personally help volunteers to develop in their roles.

It’s odd to think about, but I also set an example for other volunteers who can see me and understand that having a disability is not a barrier within our organisation.

Nowadays, my work with St John Ambulance poses two main challenges: one comes from travelling to training sessions with all my equipment and my guide dog, Flora. I must look like a hiker with my rucksack and computer bag! However I’m now fitter and stronger than I have been in a long time.

The second challenge has been overcoming a problem in delivering training with Powerpoint slides. But now I just ask another volunteer to read from the presentation for me.

I first entered St John Ambulance as a Cadet (one of our programmes for young people) 45 years ago. I progressed to managing and expanding youth units. Last year I was awarded the Serving Sister recognition medal and this year I was voted Volunteer of the Year. There have been so many memorable moments over the years, and I continue to be inspired by my fellow volunteers.

One of the proudest moments I’ve experienced was when three of my Cadets helped a seriously injured man at a traffic accident. The Cadets gave first aid treatments until the air ambulance arrived – and help saved his life. They were given a commendation by the local ambulance service and were then invited to London to receive an award.

Carol has been chosen this year as a Volunteers' Week Ambassador. She was one of 30 amazing volunteers selected from across the country to mark three decades of Volunteers’ Week. The week is an initiative of National Council for Voluntary Organisations. To learn more about Carol’s role, please visit our Volunteering section.