Order of St John Awarded to Adult Volunteer!

The Office of the King was pleased to announce the award of the order of St John to Captain Samantha Holmes (at time of nominations Lieutenant) for her outstanding and exceptional delivery of First Aid within the Royal County of Berkshire Army Cadet Force and Cadet First Aid Officer within 11 Infantry Brigade.

Sam has been active in First Aid since she joined the organisation as a volunteer twelve years ago. She has excelled in all roles making sure that the Royal County of Berkshire remains fully staffed with adult first aid qualifications and delivery of St John Ambulance Youth First Aid to cadets is fully supported.

Sam has held the post of County First Aid adviser, which primarily focuses on delivering Youth First Aid qualifications as part of the Army Cadets and St John Ambulance partnership.  As well as being a county representative delivering the youth provision, she qualified as an adult First Aid instructor in 2013, delivering the St John Ambulance Adult Community based suite of qualifications.

She has also continued to support the volunteers delivering regulated First Aid qualifications and delivers up to twelve courses each year at all levels. \she also manages the first aid trainers ensuring that all remain current and competent to deliver first aid training.

During the pandemic, when many staff went out of date, as soon as restrictions lifted she arranged courses to get over 75% of adult instructors requalified ready to return to training.

Sam’s role of County First Aid Training Officer ensures that St John Ambulance youth qualifications are being delivered at county level. She trained the county’s cadet teams entering both regional and national competitions. She consistently achieved first place at all regional competitions and second place nationally.

Sam is dual rolled as the Regional First Aid adviser covering the South East of England. This role includes being part of the quality assurance team for youth training provision as well as delivering training to adult volunteers to enable them to deliver the Youth First Aid package. She also runs the Regional First Aid competitions, ready for National and Tri-Service events.

As a qualified nurse Sam has taken on the role of County Medical Support officer which assists first aiders with managing uncertainty in emergency situations. She has also used her extensive training skill to deliver First Responder qualifications at National events to incoming Medical Support Officers.

An advocate of youth learning, Sam has also run a cohort of cadets through the Royal College of Nursing cadet scheme, which aims with St John Ambulance and others at preparing young people for work in the NHS sector.

Congratulations Captain Holmes and thank you for your continued hard work! 

The Royal County of Berkshire Army Cadet Force (ACF) is part of a national youth organisation aimed at inspiring young people to achieve both physically and mentally whilst developing self-confidence, teamwork and leadership.