THIS year is the 40th anniversary of National Volunteers’ Week, which begins today (June 3).

Once again our dedicated volunteers around the country will be keeping people safe at events and in the community by delivering life-saving first aid where it is needed.

I would like to pay tribute to our volunteers and pass on my personal thanks through your paper to all of them during this year’s celebration of all that is good about giving time to help others.

Also, falling at the end of National Volunteers’ Week is the Big Help Out, a national campaign led by the Together Coalition designed to bring people together and offer the public an incredible opportunity to lend a hand by volunteering and make a positive change. Last year an estimated 7.2 million people participated. Our volunteers will be taking part in this event between Friday and Sunday (June 7-9) and I would encourage your readers to look out for our teams and support them.

And during this important week I would like to encourage more people to get involved with St John, by volunteering, by learning first aid with us or by helping to train and equip our St John people with a donation. Readers can find out more about St John Ambulance, volunteer, make a donation and access lots of free first aid advice at

Elena Laguna, director of volunteer experience, St John Ambulance