St John Ambulance has presented Staffordshire University with a plaque as a thank you for hosting training for 188 COVID-19 vaccination volunteers at its Stoke-on-Trent campus.

In January, Staffordshire University opened its doors for St John Ambulance to train volunteers as part of the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The Ashley Building at the Stoke-on-Trent campus was used as a training centre every weekend for a month while extensive training was provided to new recruits, ready for them to be deployed in local NHS vaccination centres.

In just one month, St John Ambulance trained 145 volunteer vaccinators, 24 vaccination care volunteers and 19 volunteer patient advocates at Staffordshire University. The facilities were offered free of charge as part of Staffordshire University’s support for the national COVID-19 effort.

Carl Makins, St John Ambulance’s Head of Volunteer Training, said: “We’re grateful to Staffordshire University for playing a key role in supporting St John recruit and train almost 30,000 vaccination volunteers. The 188 people trained in Stoke are essential to our ongoing efforts to support the NHS and help the nation get through the pandemic.”

Ian Blachford, Chief Operating Officer at Staffordshire University, said: “Since we welcomed St John Ambulance onto campus earlier this year, the charity has provided vital training to a huge number of volunteers and we are really proud to have been part of such a successful COVID-19 vaccination training programme.”

The University is also continuing to run its ‘Swabbing Centre’, in conjunction with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, at the LRV on Leek Road which offers lateral flow rapid testing for anyone who does not have COVID-19 symptoms.

To book a lateral flow test at LRV visit

St John Ambulance has been working to support the NHS throughout the pandemic and its delivery of a national vaccination programme. To date, it has recruited and trained around 30,000 vaccination volunteers across the country.

Photo caption (L-R): Brian Clare (SJA Area President), Wendy Brown (SJA District Training Lead), Delme Lewis (SJA Area Manager), Ian Blachford (Chief Operating Officer, Staffordshire University), Helen Rutherford (Head of Campus Facilities Management, Staffordshire University), Katie Johnson (Commercial Services Co-Ordinator, Staffordshire University).


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