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Meet Rachael, a volunteer who joined St John Ambulance Cymru over 35 years ago...

For Dr Rachael Collier, volunteering has been a family tradition for as long as she has known. Rachael has been a volunteer at St John Ambulance Cymru for over 35 years and continues to give up her time regularly to support her community.

Rachael has been promoted in the Priory for Wales, an independent Priory of the Order of St John, which is a working Order of Chivalry of the British Crown. Rachael, who was previously an Officer within the Order, is being promoted to a Commander in 2024, the third highest rank.

Volunteers are nominated anonymously to join or be promoted within the Order of St John, for demonstrating values of devotion, togetherness, faithfulness, diversity and inclusiveness in their volunteer work.

Rachael joined St John Ambulance Cymru when she was just 8 as her parents, grandparents, aunties and siblings were all volunteers with the organisation. She is still a committed member of Griffithstown Division and regularly supports the charity’s Clinical Team.

“I continue to be an enthusiastic member due to the friendships I have formed, the skills I have learnt and the camaraderie I am a part of” Rachael says.

As a registered GP, the Order of St John’s values are closely aligned to her own. She said: It is important for me to be able to give back to St John Ambulance Cymru and the wider community with the skills I’ve been taught. These skills include anything from treating a minor illness to saving a life.”

Her work with the charity has greatly impacted Rachael’s life, as her experience as a volunteer greatly influenced her choice of career.

I truly believe that St John Ambulance Cymru consolidated my ambition to be a GP and made it possible” she added.

Rachael has shown a special commitment to the charity, committing a huge amount of time and effort to the vaccination programme through the COVID-19 Pandemic. She goes over and above, already dedicating over 300 hours of her time to support events in her community in 2024 alone.

I have been involved in many different aspects of St John Ambulance Cymru during my time as a Cadet and adult member, including competition work, training and assessing, attending thousands of hours of event cover and being awarded Cadet of the Year. These experiences have moulded me into the person I am today.” Rachael says.

She has made special memories volunteering locally, nationally and internationally over the years. Rachael’s highlights have been visiting both Canada and India to represent St John Ambulance Cymru, as well as attending an official garden party at Buckingham Palace for her volunteering efforts.

On being promoted within the Order of St John this year, Rachael added: “it is a true honour to be recognised for the work I have been delighted and privileged to undertake with St John Ambulance Cymru.”

Rachael is looking forward to being officially promoted in the Order of St John at the Annual Investiture Service on the 15th June 2024.

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