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St John's troop of volunteers helping to combat loneliness

St John's troop of volunteers helping to combat loneliness

Wednesday 27 January 2021

St John's troop of volunteers helping to combat loneliness


The St John Ambulance Charity is offering an essential delivery service and a 'Caring Caller' line for islanders struggling with isolation and those without people to help them through lockdown.

The new services were launched during the first lockdown last spring and have been ramped back up as islanders find themselves back in an "indefinite" lockdown.

The Caring Caller volunteers are not counsellors, advisers or health experts - to Chief Executive Officer Nikki Harrison, they are just members of the community who are happy to talk.

“We know that for some people lockdown can make them feel disconnected and cut off from the outside world, which can lead in to restless, anxiety or other mental health related issues.

"Just having someone to ask about your day can make all the difference with how you are feeling.”

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Pictured: Nikki Harrison has received Royal recognition for setting up the Caring Caller line and other charitable initiatives. 

St John is also operating a free essential delivery service for people who are in urgent need of essential groceries or prescription.

If you are isolating and don’t have friends or family who are able to help drop off supplies, St John can assist by collecting and delivering food or medicines to your door. People can call 01481 742147 to arrange a delivery. 

Meanwhile, the Ambulance Decontamination Team has been reintroduced to support the Emergency Ambulance Service and volunteers have been undergoing refresher training

“Our community services have been running quietly in the background since the end of the last lockdown in the summer, so we were able to respond very quickly when the announcement was made on Saturday," said Mrs Harrison. "I’d like to thank all of the volunteers that have been in touch over the weekend to offer their help.”

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Pictured: Shortly before Guernsey's second wave hit, St John Emergency Ambulance Service announced the arrival of a new uniform from New Zealand. Chief Ambulance Officer Mark Mapp said: “Uniform is an essential part of PPE for clinicians and our old uniform was getting old and starting to look scruffy."

Members of the public will see clinicians wearing face masks and other PPE in line with Public Health advice. This along with the other operational changes which have been brought in over the weekend are intended to protect staff, patients and the wider public.

The St John Healthcare shop remains open for business, supplying medical and mobility products, however the shop is operating a delivery only service at the moment. All customers are asked to phone 01481 729268 to order and pay for items over the phone. We will then arrange for one of our staff or volunteers to make the delivery in line with Public Health advice.

Anyone who is locked-down or isolating and is feeling lonely can contact the St John Caring Caller scheme on 01481 720088 to arrange for a volunteer to call them back for a friendly chat. 

Anyone interesting in supporting St John Ambulance Guernsey can do so by emailing fundraising@stjohn.gg or calling 01481 727129 donating directly at giving.gg.

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