THE Welsh Ambulance Service celebrated its long-serving staff and volunteers at an awards ceremony in North Wales yesterday (May 17).

Colleagues with 20, 30 and 40 years of service were presented with medals at Conwy Business Centre in the first of six events across Wales to recognise length of service.

Colleagues with 20 years in the Emergency Medical Service were also presented with the Queen’s Long Service and Good Conduct Medal by the Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd, Mr Henry Fetherstonhaugh.

Among the other distinguished guests were the High Sheriff of Clwyd, Ms Zoe Henderson, Chief Constable Carl Foulkes from North Wales Police and Lieutenant Colonel Nick Lock from 160 (Welsh) Brigade.

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Chief Executive Jason Killens said: “Our Long Service Awards are a wonderful opportunity to recognise and celebrate the very lifeblood of the Welsh Ambulance Service – its people – and in particular, their length of service.

“Working for the ambulance service is not just any job – it’s a job that makes a real difference.

“Often when people are at their lowest ebb, our staff are the people to whom they turn, and it takes remarkable people to do the remarkable job they do, day in, day out.

“It’s mindboggling to think that all the Long Service Awards we presented yesterday amount to more than 1,000 years of service.

“Today and every day, we thank colleagues for their service.”

More than 400 colleagues across the Trust have been invited to receive a Long Service Award this year, the first in-person awards events since 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Chair Martin Woodford added: “The reason the Welsh Ambulance Service is what it is rests with its people who work tirelessly, 24/7, to serve the people of Wales.

“What’s special about this year’s events is that it’s the first time in our history that our long-serving volunteers are also being recognised.

“Last year, we launched our first Volunteers’ Strategy, which sets out how volunteers will be better supported to deliver their role and better integrated into the workforce.

“It made perfect sense, therefore, to recognise their commitment to the people of Wales in the same way that we recognise staff.

“Congratulations to all of our recipients.”