St John Ambulance Volunteer Champion
1867. Amy Hughes
Amy Hughes, from Southsea, is one of the leading volunteers for St John Ambulance, devoting thousands of hours whilst studying for her University degree to support frontline ambulance services during the peak of the pandemic.
Amy, who comes from Abergavenny and is a University of Portsmouth student, has volunteered tirelessly throughout St John Ambulance’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Working on the frontline, she cared for patients at the NHS London Nightingale Hospital for more than a month before volunteering in Accident and Emergency Departments where she regularly did 12-hour shifts. She also qualified as a volunteer vaccinator and helped to administer hundreds of jabs. In addition to this, Amy last year led her university student unit in training 300 members of the public in life saving CPR skills as well as qualifying as ambulance crew. She is now volunteering on ambulances responding to 999 calls across the south of England from London to Bristol.
In a personal letter to Amy, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Thank you for giving up thousands of hours of your time for ‘St John Ambulance’.
“You have vaccinated hundreds of people, driven ambulances, led life-saving CPR training and volunteered at public events. I am lost in admiration for how you have done all of this alongside your full-time studies!
“It is fantastic that you are leading a team of student volunteers and inspiring other young people to make a massive difference in their communities.”
Stephen Morgan, Amy’s local MP for Portsmouth South, said:
“Amy is a shining example of the strength and spirit of Portsmouth’s community and richly deserves her Points of Light award.
“Our volunteers have gone above and beyond over the last two years, putting others before themselves and helping to protect us all. Amy’s efforts to inspire others to volunteer with St John’s Ambulance are incredibly admirable, particularly whilst also studying for her degree.
“Our city is a safer and better place because of Amy’s work, and on behalf of Portsmouth, I want to thank her for her invaluable contribution to our communities.”
“I am really honoured that the Prime Minister has written to me personally to thank me for my work as a volunteer. The last two years have been tough at times, and I have experienced unforgettable things like holding someone’s hand as they unexpectedly passed away in A&E, but it has also been a really rewarding experience which I have loved.
“I have really grown as a person volunteering for St John. Each day I learn something new that I can use in everyday life, not just about first aid, but also how to communicate with people and deal with pressure. I have also made some amazing friends through my volunteering and have created long-lasting memories with them.”
Jon Knight, Director of Youth and Volunteer Development for St John Ambulance, said:
“Huge congratulations to Amy who truly deserves this award. Amy is a shining example of the excellent service St John student volunteers have given to communities throughout the pandemic. As well as supporting the NHS on an ambulance and completing over 1,200 volunteering hours in 2020, she also leads a team of student volunteers – and all while studying! I’m so proud of her for all she’s achieved, and grateful for the hundreds of student volunteers like her around the country.”