13 November 2017

On 17th October Andi Wright, our library assistant and first aider, was invested as a member of the 'Order of St John', formally known as 'The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem' and was awarded with the insignia of his rank. The Order of St John is perhaps better known through its service organisations which includes St John Ambulance.

An unknown person nominated Andi for this honour earlier this year. Reflecting back Andi said "When I received the A4 envelope through the post last November, telling me that I had been nominated, I initially thought it was for my friend as we had put her forward for the honour. It wasn't until I reached the last document in the envelope I realised. Shock and disbelief washed over me at the surreal yet exciting news and I still have no idea who nominated me or why. It’s very unlikely that there is one single reason but a combination of reasons.”

In more than 40 years of service as a St John Ambulance member, Andi is no stranger to going that extra mile in supporting everyone he meets and offering his first aid expertise to those who need it. When he was younger he swore an oath and ever since then he has tried to live up to it by trying his best to uphold the values and mottos of the Order of St John. This nomination is not just for long service but for doing something above and beyond the expected and Andi certainly does this. As well as attending events as a First Aider, he teaches first aid to volunteers and to those within the school and he runs a youth unit of St John Ambulance.

The ceremony which was held on 17th October was a formal event which marked the awarding of the insignia by the Prior. Andi described the ceremony as being a bit of a contradiction, it was a grand event because of the historical aspect with a church standing on the site since the twelfth century and with everybody in their uniforms. However, having said this, the ceremony was simple and down to earth.

Looking back on the day Andi said “The ceremony was the most amazing day in my life! While it's nice to be recognised, that's not the reason for what I do. I just want to leave something for the children I train in first aid and their success give me the most rewarding feeling in the world. Even though it’s still sinking in, I'm grateful to the person who nominated me and I'm appreciative of the school for all their support.”

Phil Wood, The Headteacher, said "This award is a wonderful way for years of dedication, commitment and outstanding service to St John's Ambulance and to the wider community to be recognized. What an achievement!"