The charity has received a £3,000 cash donation thanks to an enthusiastic voting campaign by the people of Mid Wales.
St John Ambulance teaches first aid to around 20,000 people in Wales every year, which in many situations can mean the difference between life and death. The organisation, founded almost 900 years ago, provides tuition for young people in schools, workplaces and in the wider community. They also train volunteers, who give up their time to provide first aid at events in the community.
St John Ambulance does not receive any core funding from Government, relying on the generosity of its supporters and income from first aid training.
Two other Mid Wales charities – Beacon of Hope, the Ceredigion hospice charity, and the Heulwen Trust, a Welshpool-based charity which provides canal boat holidays for children with disabilities - are also benefitting, receiving £1,000 each from the fund.
In July 2010, following the launch of its new Customer Charter, NatWest announced details of a Community Fund to support local charities and projects throughout the UK. Customers and local people were invited to decide who should benefit from this new initiative. A local community panel reviewed the applications and short-listed three charities to benefit from the fund in each area.
When voters were asked to pick their favourite, it was St John Ambulance that scooped the top prize. Across Wales, £65,000 has been awarded to good causes, and a total of 1,100 local organisations in the UK will receive a cash boost from their local fund.
Huw Thomas, senior bank manager for NatWest in Mid and West Wales, said: "We've had an overwhelming response to the Community Fund and it's clear that people in Mid Wales are passionate about these terrific charities. We're delighted to be able to make this donation and support the tremendous work that they do. With so many worthy causes nominated, it was important to give the local community an opportunity to decide who should benefit."
David Cook of St John Ambulance said: "We are delighted to have been voted into the top spot. We intend to ensure that all sections of Caersws St John gets to benefit from this wonderful award. We are hoping to revamp the training room, buy more supplies for our first responders, and organise for our cadets to attend some national courses. We also hope to invest in a high-tech sat nav to help on our more remote duties. Officers and members of the Caersws division are so grateful to everyone who voted. This award will ensure that we can continue to carry out our work in Mid Wales."
NatWest Regional Communications Manager
St John Ambulance
01686 689133/ 0753 1138574