A NEW support vehicle for St John Ambulance volunteers has been presented at a ceremony in Otley.

It is one of more than 50 ambulances, support vehicles and treatment centres that have been handed over to the charity across the UK , including on the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, since 2017.

They have all been secured thanks to a capital grant by the Mark Master Masons, through their Mark Benevolent Fund, to the Order of St John - the parent company of St John Ambulance.

The latest support vehicle was handed over at a recent presentation ceremony held at Westbourne House, Otley.

Provincial Grand Master of the Mark Master Masons in West Yorkshire, James Steggles, addressed the event.

He said: “We are delighted to support the fantastic service that is given to the community by the members of St John.

“This support vehicle will further enhance the high standards of first aid given to local people.”

Chair of the Order of St John’s County Priory Group South and West Yorkshire, Gordon Tollefson, said: “The donation of this vehicle is wonderful news for the region.

“It will significantly help enhance patient care and contribute to more lives saved locally.

“We are re immensely grateful to the Mark Master Masons and the Mark Benevolent Fund for their generosity.

“We look forward to seeing the positive use made by local St John Ambulance volunteers of the vehicle in the future, as they continue the charity’s life saving mission.”

St John Ambulance is the country’s leading first aid charity.

Its training programmes teach more than 400,000 people - including hundreds of thousands of young people - life-saving techniques every year.

St John volunteers also provide first aid in their local communities, attend large local events to provide assistance when needed, and work with the NHS in response to 999 emergency calls.

In this area the organisation provides vital first aid cover at annual events including Otley Carnival, Harrogate Flower Show and Ripon Races.

Volunteers also take part in the annual Restart a Heart Day, which is organised by Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

The initiative involves teaching students at more than 100 schools in the region, including Prince Henry’s Grammar School in Otley, life-saving resuscitation skills.

The charity’s Otley unit meets at the St John Ambulance Hall on Gay Lane, where it regularly runs first aid training sessions.

More details about the Order of St John in England can be found at www.stjohnengland.org.uk. For information about the Mark Master Masons and the Mark Benevolent Fund visit www.glmmm.com and www.markbenevolence.org.uk.