Top honour for St John Ambulance service in Peterborough after 113 years service

St John Ambulance crews will be given the highest civic honour in Peterborough
St John Ambulance crews will be given the highest civic honour in Peterborough
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Peterborough’s St John Ambulance service is set to receive the freedom of the city for helping thousands of people in their 113 year history.

Councillor Peter Hiller, chair of the council’s Honours Committee, will recommend the honour be awarded to the organisation at a special Council meeting on Wednesday, 13 December.

The first record of St John Ambulance activity in Peterborough dates back to October 1904 when they operated from a wooden hut based in New England. They moved to their current home in Cowgate in 1969.

They are ever present at a large number of local events such as the Perkins Great Eastern Run, football matches and community events, thereby giving thousands of hours each year to the city.

Ivan Palmer, Chair of the Cambridgeshire County Priory Group of the Order of St John, said: “This is a great honour for the unit and its volunteers who have given many thousands of hours of service to the community since its formation in Peterborough in the early 1900s. This will be an inspiration to all volunteers and especially our Cadets, the next generation of first aiders.”

Councillor Hiller said: “The Freedom of the City is the highest honour that the council can bestow and is not something we award lightly.

It is only granted to those that have distinguished themselves through their work or efforts, or to recognise the respect and high esteem in which they are held by the people of Peterborough.

“St John Ambulance has been providing assistance to the people of Peterborough for more than a century and are truly deserving of this honour.”

Since it was first awarded in 1906, the council has used the Freedom of the City as a way to recognise people or organisations that make a major contribution to the city.

St John Ambulance will join groups such as Peterborough Scouts, RAF Wittering and Peterborough Volunteer Fire Brigade as holders of the award.

Also taking place at the meeting, councillors will also be asked to consider a recommendation to award David Sanders the status of Honorary Alderman.

Mr Sanders served as a councillor for Eye, Thorney and Newborough for 20 years and before he stepped down earlier this year, served as the Mayor of Peterborough.