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Volunteer first aider from Canary Wharf takes top prize at St John Ambulance awards for work around Newham

PUBLISHED: 16:31 25 September 2018 | UPDATED: 16:31 25 September 2018

Matthew Atkinson (left) at the St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes Awards. Picture: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for St John Ambulance

Matthew Atkinson (left) at the St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes Awards. Picture: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for St John Ambulance

2018 Getty Images

A St John Ambulance volunteer from Canary Wharf has received an award for his first aid work around Newham.

Matthew Atkinson. Picture: St John AmbulanceMatthew Atkinson. Picture: St John Ambulance

Matthew Atkinson, a solutions analyst, was named overall Volunteer of the Year at the charity’s Everyday Heroes awards yesterday (Monday), having won the Volunteer Manager of the Year category.

The ceremony at the Hilton London Bankside — hosted by celebrity vicar and former member of synthpop band The Communards, the Reverend Richard Coles — recognised the bravery and medical skills of those who gave up their time to help people in need.

Matt signed up to volunteer with St John Ambulance the day after completing a first aid at work qualification with the charity.

Starting off an a first aider at events, the 33-year-old became unit manager for East Ham Young People’s Services in 2014, training young volunteers aged between seven and 17 years old.

He also took on St John’s lead events role at the London Stadium, home to West Ham United Football Club, as well as other large events including pop concerts and the Athletics World Cup.

He received multiple nominations for the Volunteer Manager of the Year prize; then selected as overall Manager of the Year by judges choosing between all nine volunteering category winners.

“There are so many people, with and without leadership responsibilities, in St John Ambulance who I respect and admire, so to be singled out amongst them for this award has been amazing,” Matt said.

“I’m so grateful to the East Ham young people and youth leader team, and the fantastic team at London Stadium, all of which make my management roles such a pleasure and motivate me to do my best for them.”

The charity’s chief executive, Martin Houghton-Brown, congratulated the award winners.

“The achievements of our award nominees and winners like Matt are extraordinary and I have been overwhelmed by the stories of their everyday heroism in protecting life and health,” he said.

According to St John Ambulance, half a million people, including children and young people, learn live-saving skills through its first aid training every year.

The organisation works with the NHS by responding to some 999 calls.

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