In 2022 Her Majesty The Queen became the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee after 70 years of service. From 2nd to 5th June, four spectacular celebrations took place across London, attended by many thousands of people from around the UK and the world. As Sovereign Head of the Order of St John, The Queen has asked St John to step forward and make sure this anniversary goes smoothly and safely.

For this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to volunteer in England, Franka and Larissa from Johanniter Germany went to London to join their English colleagues. The team of St John Ambulance was supported by eight German volunteers who provided first aid to the public across the events and co-deployed as Cycle Responders.

Here’s what Franka tells us: “During the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee event, we mainly provided first aid at treatment centres. I learnt a lot about St John Ambulance’s structures, their way of treating patients and working together. Working with the locals, I even learned a few new things about British culture, including some English snacks I’ve never tried before. My highlight of the event was when I got to shadow a Medical Response Team. This is a team that is responsible for providing rapid first aid at the scene of an accident, but then quickly evacuating a patient from the crowd and taking them to a treatment centre for further treatment. It was very interesting to accompany this team of three.” 

Larissa adds: “It was a really extraordinary experience! I had so many interesting conversations and met so many lovely St John volunteers from all over the UK. We were also able to explore a bit of London. On Saturday, I worked at a treatment centre near the main stage. We treated about 70 patients throughout the afternoon and evening. On Sunday, I was able to watch the Queen’s Pageant in Trafalgar Square. I really enjoyed being part of this big event and noticing the similarities and differences between the procedures of the two organisations. There is a very friendly atmosphere at St John, and I immediately felt part of the team. My highlight was being given a tour of different St John and NHS ambulances and learning about the different ways patients are treated here!

It was an unforgettable experience to work with people in an international team because we do the same work and share the same values! We will definitely volunteer with Johanniter International’s Volunteer Swap again in the future!”