THE DEDICATION of volunteer first-aiders who have helped save lives in York over the past 75 years is being celebrated at a special black-tie reunion, writes Kris McGee.

The Acomb unit of St John Ambulance is toasting its anniversary by hosting a charity dinner and auction in July in a bid to raise more funds to train yet more lifesavers in the community.

As part of the planning for the event, St John Ambulance appealed for founding and retired members and their families to get in touch with life-saving stories, photographs and memorabilia.

One of the donations received is this photograph which is believed to date back to the 1940s and features volunteers from the Acomb Ambulance Brigade.

While some volunteers have been named, Tim Fallows, manager of the Acomb Combined Adults Unit, is urging anyone to get in touch if they can identify people in the photograph.

Tim said: “We’d really like to bring as many people together as possible to celebrate their commitment to the charity and their dedication to be the difference between lives lost and lives saved.”

St John Ambulance volunteers with the Acomb unit regularly provide life-saving first aid skills in the city, including at venues such as York Races, York Minster and the York City FC football stadium, as well as numerous community events.

The auction features a wide range of prizes donated by local businesses.

These include a wine-tasting masterclass donated by Majestic Wines, a Stonegate and East Front Scaffold Tour for 10 from York Minster, a Starbucks Hamper, and a family day pass donated by David Lloyd Leisure.

It is hoped that the funds raised will be used to train even more people to save lives in the local community.

Tim said: “We are keen to hear from volunteers or their families who were part of the Acomb unit over our 75 year history.

“We’d love to hear stories to help us to showcase the amazing work of our volunteers in the York community.

“It is important to recognise that our volunteers contributed an extraordinary 3,895 hours of voluntary work last year alone.

“And all of this was fitted around busy family and work commitments.

The black-tie, three-course dinner is at the Best Western Monkbar Hotel on Friday, July 4, starting at 7pm.

Tickets cost £30, including a 20 per cent donation to the charity.

If you recognise anyone in the photograph or to buy a ticket, contact Tim Fallows on