Volunteers celebrate 80 years of providing first aid in the heart of Sherwood Forest

First aid volunteers from the Thoresby Colliery Quad Division of St John Ambulance have treated some famous casualties.

As they provides first aid cover for events throughout the Sherwood Forest area, Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham are among the many casualties members have treated since the division was formed 80 years ago.

Nottinghamshire’s most famous son needed treatment, as did his arch-enemy the Sheriff of Nottingham, during recent Robin Hood Festivals.

Next month, volunteers from the Thoresby Division will be back on duty in case the Merry Men or any of the thousands of people expected to attend the six-day Robin Hood Festival, should require treatment.

The Thoresby Colliery Ambulance Division was formed on 10th February 1931, at a time when trained first aiders were needed at the local pit, and since then, has grown to meet the first aid needs of the whole community.

Cadet, Nursing Cadet and Nursing Divisions were formed in the 1950s, and a group for Badgers – the youngest members of St John Ambulance – was launched in 2001. These groups are now combined in the Thoresby Colliery Quad Division of St John Ambulance which meets at Forest Corner in Edwinstowe.

This week many achievements of the division, including providing over 1,000 hours of first aid already this year,will be celebrated at a special event at Forest Corner. Guests at the 80th anniversary celebrations will include former members, notably the previous Divisional Superintendent Norah Stubbs.

Trained first aiders are familiar faces at a wide range of community events ranging from the Morris Car Rally, Food Fairs and Sunday Markets at Thoresby to the Wellow Maypole Celebration, Edwinstowe Fairground, Rainworth Gala Day, and the Party in the Park which takes place on 6th August at Titchfield Park in Mansfield.

There is a great family tradition within the Division with some members being the third generation of their families to belong to St John Ambulance.

Says Divisional Superindent Catherine DeVille: “We work together and help where needed. Whoever wants us, if we are free, we will go.

“As the nation’s leading first aid charity, St John Ambulance believes that nobody should die because they needed first aid and didn’t get it. We teach people first aid so that they can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved,” she adds.