Helen Rogers, who previously worked as an advanced emergency medical technician from Harrogate Ambulance Station, has been made an Officer of the Venerable Order of St John.
The organisation’s equivalent of a royal honour, the title is given to those who have given exceptional service with St John Ambulance and made a difference to their local unit. Helen has spent 24 years as unit manager in Starbeck and Knaresborough, helping to train dozens of local people of all ages and going above and beyond the requirements of her role.
The first I knew of the nomination was when I got the letter asking if I would accept it.
I did think about whether I should accept it, because it’s a lot of responsibility. You have to promise to uphold the vows of the order, so it’s not something to be taken lightly.
There are many people in our unit who give their time freely, so my first thought was, ‘Why me and what have I done to deserve it?’ I have just done what I can to uphold our mottos: Pro Fide (for faith) and Pro Utilitate Hominem (for the service of humanity).
I haven’t told many people, but it is an honour to be chosen.
The investiture took place at St John’s Gate in London, with the presentation made by Sir Rodney Green (the Prior of the Priory of England and the Islands of the most venerable order of the hospital of St. John of Jerusalem). Once the formal ceremony had concluded, a reception was held for all the guests.
However, once the day was over, Helen was straight back to her duties at Rossett School and with St John Ambulance. As well as spending every Wednesday evening running the Starbeck and Knaresborough Unit, Helen works hard to raise funds to keep the group going.
She also offers first aid sessions for community groups including churches, Brownies, Guides and more, under the St John Ambulance banner. Thanks to her guidance, the Badgers – young first aiders aged between five and ten – came fourth in a recent St John Ambulance national competition.
Meanwhile, since taking over as first aid and health manager at Rossett School in May, Helen has continued to train as many of the students as possible in first aid. She has also run sessions for the PTA and continued to build up the school’s first aid club.
It’s good to be able to bring these skills to people of all ages.
You never know when someone might be in a situation where knowing first aid could save a life. It’s my mission to train the next generation of first-aiders and make sure as many people as possible have the skills that could make that difference.
Rossett School headteacher Helen Woodcock added:
We are extremely proud of Helen and pleased to see her recognised in this way.
As well as the outstanding work she does here at Rossett every day, she gives up an enormous amount of time to help others and to share first aid skills as widely as possible. We are very fortunate to have such a well qualified, passionate and dedicated person working alongside us, and we know her efforts over the years have been appreciated by hundreds of people in the community too.