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September 17 2014 Latest news:
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The voluntary work of The Countess of Portsmouth from Farleigh Wallop, Basingstoke for first aid charity St John Ambulance has been marked with an investiture into the Order of St John at a prestigious ceremony on 29 September...
The voluntary work of The Countess of Portsmouth from Farleigh Wallop, Basingstoke for first aid charity St John Ambulance has been marked with an investiture into the Order of St John at a prestigious ceremony on 29 September. The honour was bestowed in the Orders historic 12th century Priory Church in Londons Clerkenwell.
Becoming a member of the Order of St John is only possible if someone has shown exceptional service to its key foundations one of which is St John Ambulance, the nations leading first aid charity. The Order of St John is a Royal Order of Chivalry and each recipient is approved by Her Majesty the Queen, its Sovereign Head.
Up to 150,000 people die each year in situations where first aid could have given them a chance to live. St John Ambulance believes no one should die because they needed first aid and didnt get it. The work of volunteers such as Lady Portsmouth is crucial in being the difference between lives lost and lives saved.
The presentation was made in honour of her commitment to the charity over the last ten years, including her leadership in the role of County President, which she took over following many years as St John Ambulance Basingstoke President. She runs the county fundraising committee, raising at least 20,000 a year for local St John Ambulance projects.
The Orders insignia was presented by Rodney Green, the Prior (Chairman) of the Priory of England and the Islands (part of the Order of St John). In her acceptance of the honour, The Countess of Portsmouth said I am very proud to be part of this ancient organisation.
The Prior, Rodney Green, said This honour recognises the dedication that the Countess of Portsmouth has shown over the years to help the charity deliver its mission so that no one dies needlessly from a lack of first aid. She is an example of how volunteers can make a real impact on their communities We hope others are encouraged to learn vital life saving skills.
The investiture ceremony takes place three times a year. Around 100 people from communities across the country are invested on each occasion, the majority of whom are St John Ambulance volunteers.
The Order of St John is one of the worlds oldest charities and traces its origins back 900 years to the Knights Hospitaller and the first Hospital of St John in Jerusalem in 1078. Its international history is showcased in the revamped Museum of the Order of St John in Clerkenwell, London.