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Volunteer gets royal recognition

St John Wales

A volunteer who has given more than 50 years service to charity will be honoured by the Queen at the Royal Garden Party.

72-year old John Howells from Aberdare has been a volunteer with St John Wales, the country’s leading first aid charity, since 1960.

John joined St John Wales when he was 18, after he was injured taking part in a jiu jitsu class. John said, “One of my mates was a member of St John and told me to come along for something to do while I was recovering. I went along one evening and found a great group of people. I never looked back.”

Since joining John has used his first aid skills on members of his family and the public and worked for many years in the coal industry, using his training to treat life-threatening injuries.

John was put forward by St John Wales to attend the Queens’ Garden party on 3 June, which is held as a way of rewarding and recognising public service.

John said, “Many things have changed since I joined St John in 1960, but it’s great to see our members are still at the heart of communities in Wales, providing first aid cover and keeping people safe.

“You never know where you will go, or who you will meet as a part of St John Wales and it’s a huge honour to go to Buckingham Palace to represent the charity.”

St John Wales’ Chief Executive Keith Dunn said, “Our aim is to have a first aider on every street in Wales and John is a great example of this. Many of our members stay with us for many years and make a huge difference in their local community during this time.

“I am delighted that John is getting the opportunity to visiting Buckingham Palace for the garden party, to recognise his dedication to St John Wales.”

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