End of an era for St John but new hope for group

editorial image

After 80 years serving the Dispatch community the Hucknall and Linby St John Unit disbanded last year following a restructuring of the division by charity chiefs.

Despite this disappointing news, which came as a terrible blow to the dedicated group, they have vowed to continue their service to the community under the umbrella of the Rotary Club.

It was the idea of Ivan Manning, who is one of the 10 highly trained advanced first aiders from the unit and Rotarian, who thought it could work.

And now the two groups have joined forces to enable the skills of the group to be utilised and the service continue.

“Hucknall Rotary Club have a very long association with the Hucknall and Linby division of St John’s and we are delighted that the group wish to continue working together serving the community whilst being connected to a larger organisation such as Rotary,” said club president, Ian Young.

The Rotary members approved the scheme following much discussion and District Governor approval and they have now officially become an associate member.

“In recent years, Rotary International has introduced many innovative schemes to strengthen community ties and increase membership and we are exploring which of these methods will be best for the group as they look to join the Rotary family,” added Ian.

This includes Friends of Rotary groups, Rotary Community Corps, associated membership and satellite groups which are all different ways of being affiliated to the local Rotary Club.”

It was with regret that the St John group became ‘redundant’ after such dedication to the district but now the group can continue their good work.

“We have built up over the years a unique friendship with not only the local event organisers but the many youth organisations, local schools and colleges who have requested our help,” said Ann Lambert of Annesley Road who has served for over 50 years with St John. “It has been our privilege to be invited to provide first aid cover and training at hundreds of local events over the many years.”

Between them, the group of volunteers have achieved over 300 years service to the organisation.

“We want to take this opportunity to thank the local community for all their support during this time and the fantastic fundraising they have helped with to keep the unit operational,” added Ann.

The group were offered the opportunity to join other units but the travelling time and disruption of training nights made this difficult.

“After a lot of soul searching, we decided it wasn’t what we wanted and made the difficult decision to ‘resign’ as we would no longer be at the heart of our community,” added fellow first aider Margaret Cook, who has also served over 50 years.

Under the new unit, the first aiders still meet at supportive Seymour Road Baptist Church twice a month for continued training and have maintained their presence at various local events including the Christmas Carnival and Linby Lights.

The group are open to community organisations who may want their reassuring presence at events in the coming year. They do not charge for their service but donations to replenish supplies are appreciated.

Contact Ivan Manning on 0115 9559817 or 07961 520196.