Dave Williams a British Red Cross volunteer from Westbury, Shrewsbury has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year’s Honours List 2018.
Dave, 71 who began volunteering with the British Red Cross in 1977, has taught first aid to thousands of young people and adults across the region.
Dave Williams said: “I am surprised and thrilled to be honoured in this way. I would like to thank all my family and British Red Cross colleagues who have helped and supported me throughout my journey as a volunteer over the past 40 years.
“My wife joined our local Red Cross group and asked me for some fundraising ideas, I suggested a ‘Whist drive’ and the following week I was asked to run it! That was in 1977 and I’ve been volunteering ever since.”
Over the decades, Dave has held several Red Cross volunteer positions in Bedfordshire and Shrewsbury, including Youth Leader, Trustee of Bedfordshire Branch, Centre Officer in both Bromham and Shrewsbury and he has been an Emergency Response volunteer for 13 years, using his first aid skills to support the local community and train other people.
Dave continues: “I have taught first aid to people of all ages and from all walks of life; at village fetes, agricultural shows, football (for Shrewsbury Town FC for 22 years) and local concerts. The biggest thrill is seeing people I have trained go on to become nurses, paramedics and physiotherapists. Just knowing that people can use their skills to help others in crisis is very rewarding. I would encourage everyone to learn first aid – you never know when members of your family, friends or neighbours may need your help.”
Mike Adamson, chief executive of the British Red Cross, told Charity Today News: “’I would like to congratulate Dave on this incredible honour. He has devoted his life to first aid and passing on his knowledge to others. Dave has been a source of inspiration to his fellow volunteers and staff across Shrewsbury and beyond.
“We couldn’t do our work without the dedication of volunteers like Dave, supporting people to prepare and respond to crises in their community.”