Dozens of St John Ambulance volunteers from across Hampshire have been recognised for their life saving work in their local community at a special awards ceremony.

Various awards and trophies were presented to around 50 deserving volunteers, young and old, by the Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson, assisted by Christine Atkinson, St John Ambulance Hampshire County President, and Richard Lyons, District Manager.

The evening, which was held at The Great Hall, Winchester, was also attended by the High Sherriff of Hampshire Sarah Le May, as well as other senior St John Ambulance staff and volunteers.

Amongst those recognised were volunteers from the Romsey St John Ambulance Unit who were awarded The Dr Reddy Memorial Cup for their life saving actions at Romsey’s Remembrance Parade last year, when a man took seriously ill.

Towards the end of the service, Vicki Harrison (unit manager), Matt Cooper (emergency medical technician) and cadet Katie Harrison, 16, who was on her first St John duty, were attending to an air cadet who had fainted. Two other volunteer advanced first aiders, Darrel Instrell and Jake Jukes, continued walking with the parade towards the town centre.

Within minutes Darrel and Jake contacted Vicki to say they’d been asked to attend Romsey Town Hall for a gentleman who had collapsed. As they made their way to the casualty Vicki, Matt and Katie were also approached by a police officer reporting the man had severe breathing difficulties, which was immediately confirmed by Darrel as he arrived on scene.

Vicki, Matt and Katie made their way to the Town Hall. On arrival, the gentleman was on the floor with his legs raised. Jake and Darrel were checking his observations - he was alert, and his breathing rate was normal, but he was pale and clammy, and was complaining of increasing chest pain, radiating to his neck.

The team began to treat the patient, administering aspirin and monitoring his vital signs, working closely with South Central Ambulance Service paramedics, who arrived shortly after. But, suddenly his condition worsened. Vicki said: “His heart stopped temporarily but restarted within seconds. I made ready with the paramedic to administer CPR and then worked with the paramedic to stabilise the patient twice whilst the rest of the team aided in getting the trolley cot to move him to the ambulance.”

The patient was taken to hospital for emergency care and further investigations*.

Richard Lyons, District Manager, said: “This was a great St John team effort, working alongside our fantastic NHS colleagues, and showed prompt and safe care. Everyone played an active part in this and should be proud of their actions.”

Vicki added: “Katie was on her first ever St John duty and she was amazing. She got the right equipment when asked and then supported the patient's head and spoke to him calmly. I am extremely proud of her. She remained calm throughout, even when his condition deteriorated.”

Many other deserving volunteers from across Hampshire were presented with certificates, medals and trophies at the event, which is held to celebrate the incredible efforts of the volunteers who freely give their time to attend public events as first aiders, support the charity through fundraising, and work with the organisation’s young people.

Also recognised was Unit Manager for Basingstoke Joshua Hensman, who not only received his ‘500 hours’ certificate for 2018, but also received the Dymond Mark trophy for being an inspirational leader. As unit manager he’s responsible for leading meetings, organising first aid cover at events, and other community activities. He also actively participates in the recruitment, training and retention of the unit’s volunteers; in fact, the Basingstoke Unit also took home The Tennyson Smith Cup for adult recruitment, at the awards.

Christine Atkinson, Hampshire County President, said: “Our St John Ambulance volunteers are a truly remarkable group of people who give up so much of their own time to serving others.

“They don't do it for medals or recognition, but our annual awards ceremony goes at least some way towards showing our appreciation for their invaluable work which has a direct impact in the local community.”

For more information on St John Ambulance, including how to make a donation, volunteering opportunities, and details of training for the public, schools and businesses, visit