PHOTO GALLERY: St John Ambulance celebrates 100 years of life-saving training in Lowestoft with visit from Duke of Gloucester

The Duke of Gloucester visits the Lowestoft St John Ambulance training centre to mark the 100th anni

The Duke of Gloucester visits the Lowestoft St John Ambulance training centre to mark the 100th anniversary of St John Ambulance being in Lowestoft. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A century has gone by since the Lowestoft St John Ambulance was formed at the outbreak of the First World War.

Since then, the unit's volunteers have treated countless casualties, provided years of ambulance night duties and become familiar figures at public events.

To mark their achievement, the Duke of Gloucester paid a visit to the centre on Oxford Road to hear about Lowestoft St John Ambulance's history and future.

Unveiling a plaque to commemorate the occasion, the Duke told volunteers and cadets: 'You have been providing first aid on many occasions and in many difference places.

'Even when there wasn't an accident, your presence im sure was reassuring. For all those reasons, I congratulate all of you for being part of the team that has done a huge service to the community here in Lowestoft.'

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He also presented the unit with a centenary certificate in honour of the milestone, recieved by Unit Manager Lynne Slowey.

'It means an awful lot to us,' she said. 'I have been a member for about 18 years now and we've got a big division of about 50 in total. We have been looking forward to this all year.'

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Volunteers showed the Duke how they deal with people before paramedics arrive on scene, using CPR and a defibrillator and demonstrated how they deal with bariatric patients.

The Unit's Clinical Lead Anne Willis, 48, works as a staff nurse at the James Paget University Hospital, and said the Duke seemed impressed with their work.

'He asked questions in all the right places,' she said. 'We have done lots of different things this year and we still have lots planned, but it's nice to have the recognition and have him come along.'

After signing the visitors book, the Duke, who is the Queen's cousin, visited the Lowestoft Maritime Museum in Sparrows Nest Gardens, where he visited the First World War exhibition.

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