Plea to Queen to give St John volunteers jubilee medal

Honiton man on a crusade.

A Honiton man is on a crusade to win Diamond Jubilee Medals for St John Ambulance volunteers.

Steve Parsons, 51, has written to the Queen and Prime Minister, and is now waiting for a response from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

“It is an unofficial, one man crusade,” he told The Herald.

“During the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, it was the Year of the Volunteer but medals went mainly to paid workers.

“St John volunteers already give over five million man hours a year, but are being asked to do even more during the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee celebrations – and there are only 47,000 of them.

“I think David Cameron has got a cheek to promote the Big Society. If he is not going to look after people who come forward in a small way, how does he expect to get more volunteers?

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“There is no recognition by the State.”

Mr Parsons stressed that St John volunteers do not give their time for any reason other than to help people and do not seek recognition.

However, he feels they merit receiving the medal.

“It is a small price to pay; they deserve it,” he said.

Buckingham Palace has told Mr Parsons in a letter that “Her Majesty has taken careful note of your comments”.

Chris Green, of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, told Mr Parsons in a letter: “Planning for the diamond Jubilee is still at an early stage and we are still looking at all aspects of the medal, including its design and who might be eligible to receive one.

“An announcement about the medal will be made nearer the time.”