St John Ambulance to be presented with Freedom of the City

Peterborough’s St John Ambulance unit will be officially presented with the city's highest honour.

Since it was first awarded in 1906, the council has used the Freedom of the City as a way to recognise people or organisations that make a major contribution to the city.

St John Ambulance will join groups such as 115 (Peterborough) Squadron Air Training Corps Peterborough Scouts and Peterborough Volunteer Fire Brigade as holders of the award.

Ivan Palmer, Chair of the Cambridgeshire County Priory Group of the Order of St John, said: "This is a great honour for the unit and its volunteers who have given many thousands of hours service to the community since its formation in Peterborough in the early 1900's.

"This will be an inspiration to all volunteers especially our Cadets, the next generation of first aiders. We're tremendously looking forward to receiving this award, I'm sure it will be a wonderful occasion."

St John Ambulance was formed in 1887, as a voluntary organisation, offering free medical care. The first record of St John Ambulance activity in Peterborough dates back to October 1904 when they operated from a wooden hut based in New England. They moved to their current home in Cowgate in 1969.

It was recommended back in December that the organisation should receive the award and it will be officially presented to them at a special ceremony at Peterborough Town Hall on Wednesday, March 14.

On the same evening, David Sanders will receive the status of Honorary Alderman.

Mr Sanders served as a councillor for Eye, Thorney and Newborough for 20 years and before he stepped down earlier this year, served as the Mayor of Peterborough. Honorary Aldermen can attend and take part in civic ceremonies.

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