International St John recognition for two Guernsey members

Two members of St John Ambulance Guernsey have received international recognition for their work by being admitted into the Order of St John.

Chief Operating Officer Nikki Harrison and long-serving volunteer Paul Kennedy have both been appointed as Members of the Order of St John for their service and commitment to the organisation.

Nikki Harrison joined the charity in June 2015 and was promoted to the role of Chief Operating Officer in July 2018. Her work involves overseeing all aspects of the work of St John in Guernsey.

Nikki said: “I am truly honoured to be admitted into the Order of St John. I am proud to lead an organisation that is committed to improving the lives of everyone in our community. I am very lucky to have a job I love and to be surrounded by a great team of staff and volunteers. It also gives me a chance to thank all of our volunteers, because they are the people who make St John the success that it is, which is why I am delighted that Paul has also been appointed as a Member of the Order of St John.”

Paul Kennedy has been volunteering with St John Ambulance Guernsey for thirty years during which time he has undertaken a variety of different roles including being an event first aider, a member of the Ambulance Reserves and volunteer patient transfer driver. Paul also looks after the fleet of vehicles for the charity.

Paul Kennedy said: “I feel very proud and privileged to be nominated to be admitted to the Order of St John, and even more so because my admission to the Order was sanctioned by Her Majesty the Queen. I would like to thank my wife Pat for putting up with my St John life, and fellow volunteers over the years without whom I could not achieved this honour.”

Andrew Henton, Knight Commander of St John Guernsey said: “I would like to congratulate Nikki and Paul on being admitted to the Order of St John. Nikki has devoted herself to leading the reorganisation and modernisation of St John in Guernsey. Paul has been a dedicated servant of St John for many years, he has given countless hours as a volunteer and it is fitting that his long association with St John is recognised in this way.”

Stuart Place, Chairman of St John Ambulance Guernsey added: “We are very lucky to have people like Nikki and Paul in St John Ambulance Guernsey. Nikki is leading the charity into a new era of development. Paul is an example of someone who often goes above and beyond what is expected of a volunteer. The efforts of our volunteers like Paul enable us to serve our community to best effect.”

The investitures were approved by Her Majesty the Queen, as Sovereign Head of the Order of St John and Nikki Harrison attended an investiture service at the Priory Church of St John in London on Thursday 12th March. Paul is due to be presented with his medal at a ceremony in Guernsey later this year.

The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem – commonly known as the Order of St John – has its roots in a hospice in Jerusalem in the 11th century. Today the international charity provides health care and support in more than forty countries through a dedicated team of around 250,000 volunteers and staff.

An individual can be admitted to the order for outstanding service to St John in recognition of achievement, notable or selfless service or inspiration and encouragement to others. There are five Grades of membership Member, Officer, Commander, Knight or Dame and Bailiff or Dame Grand Cross.  

Top photo credit: British Ceremonial Arts Ltd.