The Mark Benevolent Fund are Supporting ST Johns Ambulance and in partnership with the charity have pledged £3,023,700 for a two year programme to provide up to 52 replacement state of the art ambulances and support vehicles. The first of these Ambulances was to be donated to East Lancashire, and on the 17th July, the PGM, RW Bro Alex Mclaren and his wife, Leslie, attended the Presentation and Dedication of the vehicle in London.
The vehicle had to be fitted out with all the lockers and equipment before it could be used and on the 4th April the PGM formally handed the keys to David Styles of the St John Ambulance.
The Ceremony took place at the Northern Headquarters, St John House, Stockport, the Deputy President of the Mark Benevolent Fund, R.W.Bro. Tony Morris and his wife Janet travelled from the Midlands to attend. The Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester Warren Smith and Representatives of the St John Ambulance and local volunteers were present, along with the Provincial Almoner Barry Heal and the Provincial Secretary David Rainford.
We were given a demonstration by the volunteers and young cadets of some of the skills and procedures taught by St John Ambulance and we chatted with the volunteers about their work and some of the events they have attended, which includes Football Matches, Concerts and smaller events were they provide the first aid cover.
R.W.Bro. Tony Morris spoke about the support the MBF was giving to St John Ambulance over the next two years and also mentioned the Hope for Tomorrow Charity the previous major beneficiary of the MBF.
The PGM spoke about the contribution St John Ambulance made and how East Lancashire Mark Masons were glad to be giving something back to the local community. He had found the booklet from the last time East Lancashire Mark Masons donated an Ambulance to St John in Blackburn and shared some of the details from that Ceremony .
Following the presentation we were shown round the interior of the Ambulance and given an explanation of the equipment carried.