On 05 October, St John Ambulance (SJA) organised its bi-annual ‘National Volunteer Leadership Forum’. More than 140 St John leaders swept into London for a packed schedule of workshops and debate. Representatives of the JOIN Volunteering & Youth Working Group, that had met the day before, attended the event and made numerous contacts with volunteers of our English member.

From left to right: Mark Broughton (JOIN Board member), Frederik Siemssen and Maibritt Zuschke (both Johanniterhjaelpen Denmark), Robert Brandstetter (Johanniter Austria), Katinka Kersting (Johanniter Nederland), Zsófia Porcsalmy (Johannita Segitö Szolgálat), Joachim Berney (JOIN Office).

To kick off the day, a series of questions were addressed to the SJA Executive Leadership Team covering a wide range of volunteer concerns and dug into the new strategy. This was followed by a presentation of the JOIN Volunteer Swap program by Mark Broughton, JOIN Board member. St John delegates attended then different workshops covering a broad range of volunteer-based topics and areas of expertise.

Mark Broughton presents the JOIN Volunteer Swap.

Throughout the day, delegates gathered and networked at the busy marketplace, packed with information stands. The JOIN Office had its own stand providing information and material on the JOIN family in general and on the Volunteer Swap in particular. Other stands of hosting teams included ‘Operational Support’, ‘Estates’, ‘Volunteer Training’, an IT Helpdesk and the ‘Getting in our Own Way’ group.

The Forum ended with inspiring speeches that outlined the plans to change public perception, in order to develop greater awareness of St John’s work serving communities. Finally, SJA Chief Executive, Martin Houghton-Brown, closed the day with a stirring speech that explained how St John will meet the demands of delivering its bold new strategy while staying within its means.

SJA Chief Executive, Martin Houghton-Brown concluding the SJA Volunteering Forum 2019.