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The Princess Royal visits St John Ambulance's new HQ
Princess Anne with St John Ambulance staff
The Princess Royal at St John Ambulance Cambridgeshire's new HQ

Princess Anne has officially opened St John Ambulance's new county headquarters.

The purpose-built office is in Huntingdon and has transformed working life for staff and volunteers.

St John Ambulance's previous county headquarters was in Barton Road, Cambridge, but the charity had long-since outgrown it.

The Princess Royal was shown new specialist equipment and was introduced to staff and volunteers.

She also examined several vehicles including an ambulance, a patient transport minibus and a first aid unit.

Princess Anne with spade and St John Ambulance staff and volunteers
St John Ambulance staff and volunteers meeting the Princess Royal

Built specially

Staff and volunteers moved into the new building before Christmas. It was specially designed around the charity's needs.

Facilities include a suite of training rooms along with offices, meeting rooms and garaging for ambulances and other St John vehicles.

Ivan Palmer from St John Ambulance said: "It's a great improvement. There's more garage space which means we can move more people from hospital to hospital in Cambridgeshire. It's a very exciting time."

More training

Mr Palmer says the simple techniques of resuscitation and the recovery position save 1,000 lives a year in the UK. The organisation trains hundreds of people in basic first aid every year.

He hopes more people will come forward for training at the new location. The charity's officials chose Huntingdon because it is in the centre of Cambridgeshire.

They believe this central location is easier to access for people keen to learn first aid skills from across the county.

Princess Anne holidng flowers and speaking to a small girl
The Princess meeting St John Ambulance's younger members

Volunteering

St John Ambulance Cambridgeshire has over 650 volunteers who provide essential first aid and ambulance support at events in Cambridgeshire.

These include cycle responders who are deployed at a wide variety of events including the Cambridge Folk Festival, Duxford Aerodrome, rowing events, charity walks, marathons and other sporting events.




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