St John Volunteer Recognised For Long Service

Beryl Read

One of the longest serving volunteers in Scilly has been recognised for her contribution to the St John Ambulance organisation.

Beryl Read was honoured in a ceremony on St Michael’s Mount by the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall and Scilly, Edward Bolitho and received a medal and a bar.

St Mary’s chaplain Canon Peter Walker, who is also the chaplain of St John Ambulance in Cornwall, took the service.

Beryl has been a volunteer with the first aid and medical response charity since the 1970s but, despite gaining a long-service award, says she can’t remember the exact date when she started with the group.

Beryl says she joined as a trainer because she enjoys working with people and was comfortable with medical matters from working at St Mary’s hospital.

Most of the complaints Beryl deals with are minor but she has been called to help with potentially life-threatening problems. She’s dealt with a patient suffering chest pains during the Gig Championships and a case of choking.

Beryl says training from the St John Ambulance is very thorough and volunteers are monitored regularly.

She’s helped provide medical cover for many significant events on the islands including the former carnival, fundays like this weekend’s OlymBike cycle challenge and the gig weekends.

And Beryl says she’s become an expert in blisters because that’s the most common injury suffered by rowers during the Championships.