PICTURE GALLERY The Countess of Wessex is presented with a bouquet of flowers by eight-year-old St Catherine's pupil Gaynor. Picture by Laura Holme.
THE Countess of Wessex backed a new appeal to buy a St John Ambulance at a special tea party at Haseley Manor, Arreton, yesterday (Thursday).
During her day on the Island she also visited St Catherine’s School, Ventnor, and had lunch there.
The countess, who is Grand President of St John Ambulance, spent the afternoon at Haseley taking a closer look at the varied roles of volunteers, as young and old showed off the skills that have created real support for villages, businesses and events across the Island.
Badgers and cadets showed her how they are trained in radio and computer skills, as well as the first aid they are known for.
Although the busy charity has several centres on the Island, there are just two ambulances to cover all their needs, and one of them needed to retire, said Maj Randal Cross, chairman of the Island’s St John Ambulance Council.
"Islanders have already raised nearly £30,000 towards the cost of one new vehicle, but we still need another £50,000 to provide the modern kit to equip it," he said.
Mr Cross greeted the Countess before introducing her to the Hon Virginia Lovell, chief president of St John Ambulance, Sam Twining, county president, Rev Malcolm Jones, county commander, and Mr Anthony Roberts, deputy county medical officer, and his wife Dr Vivian Roberts.
Nine-year-old Georgia Holmes, from the Binstead Badger sett, presented the Countess with a posy.
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