Long-serving volunteer is commended

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LONG serving St John Ambulance volunteer Janet Tillyard has been recognised for her contribution to the charity.

The 57-year-old Hampden Park woman has been invested into the Order of St John. The honour was bestowed at a special ceremony last week (December 9) in the Order’s historic 12th century Priory Church in Clerkenwell, London.

Janet has given 32 years of voluntary service to St John Ambulance and on many occasions has had to administer emergency first aid in life or death situations. Just two weeks after completing her initial first aid training at the age of 25 she was putting her skills into practice while working at the town’s Congress Theatre.

“I was working in the box office when one of the electricians fell from a ladder while putting up the spotlights. No-one else knew what to do so I did mouth to mouth resuscitation and chest compressions until the ambulance arrived,” said Janet.

Many actors and audience members subsequently benefited from Janet’s first aid knowledge though the real life dramas meant she often missed crucial parts of the performances.

She was nursing superintendent of the local St John Ambulance unit for 12 years and her voluntary duties included running a seafront first aid post which involved dealing with sunburn and stings to cardiac arrests.

She said, “I’m very proud to be part of the St John Ambulance family and being made a member of the Order is a great honour.

“I’ve had great satisfaction from training others in first aid, seeing them change from being worried about what to do in an accident to being fully competent first aiders.”

People can only become members of the Order of St John if they have shown exceptional service to its key foundations – one of which is St John Ambulance. The Order of St John is a Royal Order of Chivalry and each recipient is approved by Her Majesty the Queen, its Sovereign Head. Sussex St John Ambulance has more than 1,000 adult volunteers and more than 700 youth members. To find out more about volunteering or fundraising call 01273 371500.