A Pembrokeshire woman has been singled out for her long-standing commitment to charity following an incredible 60 years service with St Johns Ambulance.

In honour of Aileen Richards’ lifelong dedication, St John Ambulance recently made a presentation to her at the Mid and West Wales Regional Awards Ceremony in Myddfa Community Hall, Llandovery.

Her service medal was presented by Richard J Paskell, their Chief Volunteer.

“Aileen is simply amazing,” he said.

“She is a committed, loyal and well respected member of our charity and is truly is an Exemplar of a volunteer, which has been demonstrated through over 60 years service, supporting her local community in Wales.

"I feel humbled and proud to have been asked to present her Ultra Long Service medal. Aileen really is an inspiration to us all.”

Generations of young people in Haverfordwest have been learning First Aid skills, community values and good citizenship as cadets in the St John Ambulance Brigade and this life-enriching journey began for them in 1967 with the reformation of the First Haverfordwest St John Cadet Division under Aileen’s leadership. The first enrolment was in July of that year.

The primary purpose of cadetship for boys and girls aged from 11 to 16 is to acquire First Aid skills through study and examination. They regularly accompany senior Brigade members at public events and through other activities they develop independence, self-reliance and acquire badges of achievement. The also learn orienteering, map-reading, computer skills, camping and also take part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. They have a particular care for the elderly, whom they entertain and help with shopping and household tasks.

Aileen was a member of the St George Nursing Division in Gloucester and an auxiliary nurse with the National Hospital Service Reserve before she moved to Haverfordwest, but she was inspired to join St John Ambulance following an accident involving one of her children. A week after the accident she saw an advertisement for First Aid classes in the local paper and enrolled for the course. And so began her amazing dedication to the Brigade.

Aileen provided motivating leadership for the development of the Haverfordwest Cadets and was Cadet Officer for Dyfed when her active involvement ended in 1982. She has since been a member of the St John Council for Pembrokeshire and became Haverfordwest’s Divisional President in 2018.

“Eileen is a truly exemplary volunteer, rightly honoured yet remaining humble and appreciative of others,” concluded Richard Paskell.