A Sleights woman has received a prestigious honour for her dedicated work in first aid with one of the world’s oldest charities.
St John Ambulance volunteer, Lorna Brown (26) was invested into the Order of St John - a Royal Order of Chivalry which means each recipient has to be approved by the Queen, its sovereign head.
Lorna, a teacher at Stakesby Primary School, has been in the service for 18 years and has risen to the rank of county staff officer.
Her main role is to train youth leaders and to ensure that risk assessments have been carried out for the many activities in which members take part.
An enthusiastic runner, Lorna who wanted to be a nurse has her late grandfather Bob Spenceley to thank for encouraging her to join St John’s.
She said: “He was a lifelong supporter of Whitby Town FC and he always used to tell me how St John members provided first aid cover at the soccer matches.
“I owe a lot to St John for giving me confidence in presentation and social skills and meeting new people. It is a great organisation.”
At a prestigious ceremony at the order’s beautiful Priory Church in London, which itself dates back the 12th century, Lorna was presented with the order’s insignia by Rodney Green, the Priory of the Priory of England and the Islands.
The ceremony takes place three times a year and around 100 people are invested on each occasion - the majority of whom are St John Ambulance volunteers.
People can only become members of the order if they have shown exceptional service to its key foundations - one of which is St John Ambulance, a charity which can trace its origins back 900 years to the Knights Hospitaller and the first Hospital of St John in Jerusalem in 1078.
Lorna added: “The investiture was a most impressive ceremony involving people from so many different countries. “It is a real honour to have become a member of the Order of St John and to receive it for doing something I love makes it even more special. “I joined St John Ambulance so that I could learn first aid and be the difference between a life lost and a life saved but I never thought it would lead to something like this.”
As part of her running, Lorna is training hard for the Great North Run in September when she hopes to fund-raise for the funds for the Butterwick Children’s Hospice in Teesside.
St John’s Ambulance is the UK’s leading first aid charity and provides first aid training to any person who requires it, bearing the motto “the difference between a life saved and a life lost”.