Rev Richard Coles hosts Everyday Heroes Awards recognising the
nation’s life savers
On 24 September 2018 we celebrated the people who step forward
in the moments that matter
The 2018 Everyday Heroes Awards recognised the outstanding
bravery and first aid skills of people who have helped save lives
and support their communities.
Three winners of each category, Community Hero, Workplace Hero,
and Guy Evans Young Hero, were announced on the night. Alongside
this, special awards were also given to the winners of the
Volunteer of the Year and Lifetime Contribution to St John
The ceremony was hosted by celebrity vicar, broadcaster, and
former pop star the Reverend Richard Coles. Alluding to the lyrics
of his band, The Communards’ biggest hit, Don’t Leave Me This Way,
‘Tonight’s winners didn’t leave. Instead, they stepped
forward when others needed them most and their actions saved
Our 2018 Everyday Heroes Awards winners
Alcohol Reception Centre, also known as the Booze Bus
Newcastle’s Alcohol Reception Centre (ARC), commonly known as
the Booze Bus, is a joint initiative between St John Ambulance and
North East Ambulance Service (NEAS). It is staffed by both paid and
volunteer crew, and runs throughout the year on Friday and Saturday
nights until the early hours of the morning. The ARC reduces
pressure on the local A&E, the Ambulance Service and Police.
Whether it's over-indulgence or a cardiac arrest, the ARC crew are
on hand throughout the year to keep weekend revellers safe.
Garry and Ellis Kerr (Suffolk)
Garry Kerr had his first aid skills put to the test
when out golfing with his seven-year-old son Ellis. While out on
their round, they found a man collapsed and not breathing. Garry
instantly gave lifesaving chest compressions for around 20 minutes
while Ellis ran for help. An ambulance crew soon arrived and used a
defibrillator to restart the man’s heart. Thanks to Garry’s
intervention to keep oxygen flowing to the man’s brain, he made a
Garry was so affected by the incident that he persuaded the
packaging company he works for to buy a defibrillator from St John
Ambulance and he completed a course in how to use it. The company
also decided to make it a public access defibrillator and register
it on the NHS database of defibrillators. Garry is also working
with his son’s school to get a defibrillator.
John Newman (London)
In 2008, John Newman helped set up a Community First Responders
scheme in London. He has led the scheme ever since. Community First
Responders are trained St John Ambulance volunteers who attend
emergency calls received by the ambulance service. They then
provide care until ambulance crews arrive.
John's dedication and focus to his role has ensured that St John
Ambulance’s next steps in community delivery are well placed and
well respected. He is accepting the award on behalf of all
Community First Responder volunteers. Many have saved lives, and
all have provided care when it is most needed.
Adam French, a trainee legal executive, learnt first aid on a St
John Ambulance First Aid at Work course. His skills were put to the
test when an elderly man had a cardiac arrest outside his law firm.
The law firm’s secretary shouted for him after the man’s wife ran
into the office saying her husband had collapsed in their car. Adam
rushed to help and found the man, Ray, not breathing so pulled him
out the car and began CPR. Ray soon began to breathe again so Adam
placed him in the recovery position. However, Ray stopped breathing
again so Adam resumed CPR, until a rapid response paramedic
Ray was fitted with an internal defibrillator and is on the way
to a good recovery. Ray, his wife Patricia, and the paramedic
returned to thank Adam. They told him that the surgeon had said his
speedy response had definitely saved Ray’s life and prevented brain
Supermarket chain Morrisons is putting its customers’ safety
first as part of a partnership with St John Ambulance. It’s doing
this by installing lifesaving defibrillators in 400 of its stores.
Across the country, quick-thinking staff have already saved the
lives of five shoppers by using the devices. Morrisons also
organised for 2,300 of its employees to take part in St John
Ambulance sessions on how to use the devices and basic first aid
The national rollout of defibrillators has been made possible
thanks to a £500,000 donation from the Morrisons Foundation. It was
inspired by one stores’ team who fundraised for a defibrillator
after a customer had a heart attack while shopping.
Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club
Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club has an outstanding
matchday medical team and 10 defibrillators. The matchday safety
provisions are overseen by the club’s Head of Safety and Security,
Adrian Morris. The medical team includes: 34 St John Ambulance
volunteers, nine members of the South East Coast Ambulance Service,
and three doctors. Since the stadium opened in 2011, they have
saved the lives of all five people who have had cardiac arrests.
All five football fans have made full recoveries. The odds of
surviving a cardiac arrest are just one in 20, the chance of five
out of five people surviving is one in 3.2 million. Yet, the
fast-acting medical team have managed to defy these odds.
Guy Evans Young Hero:
15-year-old Courtney ran to help a man who had been stabbed
outside her home in Luton. She had looked through her curtains to
see a group of youths stabbing a man in the leg and back with a
large knife. She opened her door prompting the youths to run off,
and went outside to help the casualty.
As an army cadet with St John Ambulance first aid training, she
quickly put her skills into action. She shouted to her mother to
call 999, raised the man’s legs, and applied pressure to his
wounds. She asked a helper to support the man’s neck until the
police and ambulance arrived, when she gave a full handover. The
victim of the attack survived but has lifelong injuries. The police
have praised Courtney for her actions and for her detailed
St John Ambulance cadet, Charlotte Ellett, saved her father’s
life when she spotted the symptoms of potentially fatal sepsis and
insisted that her mother called an ambulance.
Charlotte's father, Nicholas, had felt unwell after lunch and
went for a lie down. When 15-year-old Charlotte came home from
school, she found her father with blue lips and nails. Her mother
felt an urgent call to the GP would be enough. However, Charlotte
explained her father had a high temperature, low oxygen levels, and
was in grave danger. She persuaded her mum how urgent the situation
was and an ambulance was called. Her father was immediately taken
to hospital and was given urgent treatment for sepsis. The hospital
said it was thanks to Charlotte’s knowledge and confidence that her
father was alive.
Molly Harris (Devon)
While getting ready for school, 15-year-old Molly Harris, heard
her mother shouting for her help. She ran into her parent’s bedroom
and found her step-father, Peter, had stopped breathing, was purple
in the face, and foaming at the mouth. He had suffered a cardiac
Molly, who had learned first aid with St John Ambulance as an
army cadet, leapt into action. She told her mother to phone an
ambulance and began CPR on her step-father. After getting tired,
Molly decided it would be safest for her mother to take over. Her
mother had never performed CPR before, however Molly showed her how
to perform chest compressions and reassured her it was going to be
ok. When the ambulance crew arrived, Peter was shocked with a
defibrillator three times and was airlifted to hospital. Doctors
said it was down to Molly that Peter survived.
Lifetime Contribution to St John Ambulance:
Clive Rooke (Avon)
Few volunteers have had such a continual impact on St John
Ambulance as Clive Rooke, who has volunteered for 54 years. Clive
first got involved when he signed up as a cadet after witnessing
someone being pulled from the sea. He has held numerous roles in
his home county of Avon. In 2008, he became Commander for Avon with
overall responsibility for the county.
He eventually took on the new role of National Volunteering
Adviser and remains in position today. As part of this, he has met
volunteers all over the country to show support and hear what they
think, want, and need. On top of these challenging roles, Clive
still attends a unit at least fortnightly, volunteers as a first
aid assessor, and until recently continued to be clinically active
at events. His dedication is truly inspirational.
Volunteer of the Year:
Matt Atkinson (London)
As Event Manager at the London Stadium, Matt is responsible for
bringing together over 50 volunteers and medical staff as one team.
The stadium is one of the country's most challenging venues. It is
home to West Ham Football Club, the Athletics World Cup, and hosts
many large summer concerts. Matt enjoys little downtime with events
taking place year-round. His planning and leadership means the
fixtures and concerts run as smooth as possible. His team speak of
his positive spirit and how he makes a point of thanking people for
their time and efforts, ensuring they feel welcome and cared
Matt first joined St John Ambulance in 2013 and has taken on a
number of leadership roles. Alongside these, he has continued to
volunteer as a trainer and assessor, sharing his passion for first
aid and passing on the skills to others.