43-year-old Clare Buckley first joined St John Ambulance Cymru as a Cadet to learn first aid, before moving away from her local area as a young adult. When she returned to Deeside in 2014, she signed back up as a volunteer and hasn’t looked back since.

Clare has committed so much to the organisation during this time, most recently helping with Deeside Division’s renovation project. Her hard work ensured that the iconic building which has been part of the community for over 70 years can continue to serve the people of Deeside and the wider community.

Clare has also shown a special commitment to supporting events and first aid training in the community, as well as fundraising for the charity.

This year, Clare has been nominated to join the Priory for Wales, an independent Priory of the Order of St John which is a working Order of Chivalry of the British Crown.

Members are nominated for demonstrating values of devotion, togetherness, faithfulness, diversity and inclusiveness in their volunteer work.

Clare is the Divisional Officer in Charge of Deeside Division and loves the friendships she has made during her time as a volunteer. “There is a sense of community when you join and your fellow volunteers become your friends,” Clare said.

“We might be providing a service to our community, but we keep going because we have a laugh and enjoy ourselves in the process.”

Volunteering with the charity has had a hugely positive impact on Clare’s life. “Having physical disabilities is challenging, but I have wonderful people around me within St John Ambulance Cymru who see past these and have encouraged me find a role within the organisation which suits my skills,” she said.

“On rejoining nearly 10 years ago, I never would dream I would be in charge of such a large, busy Division. I’ve had amazing people mentoring me, supporting me and pushing me to challenge myself.”

Clare worked incredibly hard to oversee the renovation of the Deeside building and successfully saw it reopen at the end of 2023.

“One of our values is about securing our future and I am so proud that our building can continue to serve the community.”

“I was sat in my office a few weeks ago and our building was filled with laughter. It’s made all the hard work worth it and keeps me focused on continuing to make the Division better for them.

“I’m extremely proud of myself and of the other volunteers who are being recognised for our dedication to the organisation,” she added.

Clare is looking forward to continuing to give back to her community and support her fellow volunteers through her work at St John Ambulance Cymru, now as an official member of the Priory for Wales.

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