The work of St John Ambulance volunteers and employees during the coronavirus pandemic have been recognised at an evening in their honour.

Since March 2020, tens of thousands of people from the organisation have given more than a million hours of their time to care for those in hospitals, on ambulances, at events, through community projects, and by helping deliver the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme.

West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas and Truro and Falmouth MP Cherilyn Mackrory joined a Parliamentary event held to thank all from St John.

Among those attending was Chris Waters, ambulance hub lead at the Truro station.

Ms Mackrory said: “Earlier this week it was my privilege to go to an event in Parliament highlighting the amazing contribution of St John Ambulance to our nation’s pandemic response.

“It was particularly good to meet Chris, the local ambulance hub lead in Truro and discuss with him the incredible work put on by him and his team over the past year.

“Thank you to Chris and all St John Ambulance across the country for their work during this most difficult of times.”

The event followed praise for St John volunteers during the day’s Prime Minister's Questions from Boris Johnson and the event was addressed by the secretary of state for health Sajid Javid, the charities minister Baroness Barran, minister for vaccine deployment Nadhim Zahawi, and leader of the opposition, Sir Keir Starmer.

Asked about the role of St John Ambulance at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Mr Johnson said: "They have been fantastic and I have met many many St John Ambulance volunteers during the last 18 months who have done an absolutely astonishing job.”

St John is now looking at how it can build a lasting legacy from the pandemic, ensuring clinically trained volunteers are ready to help the NHS when needed.

Chief Executive of St John Ambulance, Martin Houghton-Brown, said: “We want to develop and maintain the additional capacity we need to stand ready as the nation’s auxiliary ambulance service; to retain and engage the thousands of new volunteers who’ve joined us during the pandemic by creating new roles and opportunities within St John for them to help their communities through first aid; and to ensure the expertise and capacity of skilled volunteers like ours is included in future planning for emergency resilience and response.”