The long service and achievements of ambulance staff, volunteers and members of the public have been celebrated at the first in a series of three South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) awards events.

Attendees gathered at The Orangery in Maidstone on the evening of Thursday 2 November for the awards which primarily cover the Trust’s Kent region. Awards for Surrey and Sussex will take place in the coming weeks.

Chief Executive Commendations were presented across a number of categories, including Clinical Excellence and Quality Improvement, Exceeding Expectations, and Voluntary or Community Service (full details below).

Awards included a commendation for a trio from Medway and Paddock Wood for their expert treatment in saving the life of a new mother shortly after she had given birth. Paramedic, Charlotte Gale and Emergency Care Support Worker, Holly Lambkin, from the Trust’s Medway Operating Unit and Critical Care Paramedic, Josh Guinane, from Paddock Wood, performed an intrauterine bi-manual compression to stem a post-partum haemorrhage.

A public commendation was awarded to Emma Page from Sheppey for her quick thinking and actions providing CPR and saving the life of 77-year-old cyclist, Geoff Hollands, when he collapsed on Swale Way, Kemsley in May 2023. SECAmb was delighted Geoff was able to attend with his wife, Susan, to see Emma pick up her award.

Queen’s Medals for Long Service and Good Conduct were presented by Deputy Lieutenant for Kent, Dr Bhargawa Vasudaven, as The King’s representative for the county.

Awards for 20 and 30 years’ NHS service were also presented, while SECAmb’s volunteer community first responders were thanked for 10 years’ dedication to the service.

Full details of all long service and commendation award winners can be found below.

SECAmb Chief Executive Simon Weldon said: I was honored to attend my first ever SECAmb awards ceremony since joining SECAmb earlier this year. I would like to thank all those who were recognised for their long service and dedication. It was very humbling to think of all the people they have helped over so many years.

I was also delighted to present commendations to so many worthy winners. Their actions further confirm to me the great work which is going on across our region day-in, day-out and I would like to take this opportunity to thank every single member of staff and all volunteers across our patch for everything they do.

Award ceremonies for Surrey and Sussex take place on 9 and 16 November respectively.

Queen’s Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct

Duncan Aldred, Critical Care Paramedic, Dartford

Karen Andrews, Associate Ambulance Practitioner, Medway

Jason Bailey, Urgent Care Practitioner, 111 Contact Centre, Gillingham

Victoria Baker, Paramedic and OTL, Dartford

Mark Brackley, Advanced Ambulance Technician, Thanet

Tanya Bridges, Paramedic, Medway

Kevin Hatter, Paramedic, Ashford

Sarah-Jayne Hollamby, Ambulance Technician, Gatwick

Sally Holmes, Paramedic and OTL, Dartford

Wendy Sansom, Associate Ambulance Practitioner, Medway

Caroline Sawyer, Ambulance Technician, Dartford

David Shelton, Practice Development Lead, Paddock Wood

Michelle Skillington, Paramedic, Paddock Wood

Sarah Thatcher, Critical Care Paramedic, Worthing

Sheila Wand, Paramedic Practitioner, Paddock Wood

Naomi Watkins, Paramedic, Thanet

Paul Webber, Ambulance Technician, Medway

Sherry-Lynn Winterbone, Paramedic, Thanet

20 Years’ NHS Service

Clare Day, Resource Dispatcher, East EOC, Gillingham

Clare Perry, Data Assistant, Paddock Wood

Kay Kenyon, Dispatch Team Leader, East EOC, Gillingham

30 Years’ NHS Service

Stephen Bingham, Paramedic and OTL, Ashford

Karen Downie, Paramedic Practitioner, East EOC, Gillingham

Louisa Guerin, Emergency Operations Centre Manager, East EOC, Gillingham

10 Year’s Voluntary Service

Kevin Brown, East Kent

Danny Edwards, New Romney

Ken Hopkins, New Romney

Beverley-Jane Last, Deal

Zella Nerssessian, Deal

Jason Roberts, Folkestone

Chief Executive Commendations

Clinical Excellence and Quality Improvement

Michelle Skillington, Advanced Paramedic Practitioner (Paddock Wood) and Emily Ryder, Advanced Paramedic Practitioner (Paddock Wood)– for their work together on a project to improve the working relationships between care homes and SECAmb and, in turn, patient care. Their work included creating a flow chart to be used by care home staff as a decision-making tool. (Please note: Emily is collecting her award at next week’s ceremony).


Toby Hiller-Wood, Paramedic (Medway), Sam Collis, Paramedic (Medway), Somer Viola, TAAP (Medway), Paul Duncan, Student Paramedic (Medway) and Sarah Thatcher, CCP (Worthing) – for their clinical expertise at the scene of a complex home birth, which saw a baby not only be born in a breech position but also require immediate resuscitation.


Holly Lambkin, ECSW (Medway), Charlotte Gale, Paramedic (Medway) and Josh Guinane, CCP (Paddock Wood) – For the quick thinking and treatment provided to save the life of a woman in a critical condition shortly after giving birth. Charlotte, Holly and Josh performed a challenging procedure called an intrauterine bi-manual compression to stem a post-partum haemorrhage.


Exceeding Expectations

Fergus Chalmers, Community First Responder, Tunbridge Wells – For his actions responding to and saving the life of a patient in a state of extreme respiratory distress, who subsequently went into cardiac arrest.


Voluntary or Community Service

Steve Doherty – Associate Ambulance Practitioner, Ashford – For his leading role in setting up what proved to be a winning SECAmb sailing team for the Emergency Services’ Regatta on the Isle of Wight. Steve skippered the novice team, two of whom had never previously set foot on a sailing boat.

Ellen Couzens – Senior Chaplain, Medway – For her dedication to her role providing countless hours of support to the Medway frontline teams. Ellen has also ensured she is available to support her fellow volunteers – the local community first responders.


Public Commendation

Emma Page from Sheppey – for her quick thinking and actions providing CPR and saving the life of 77-year-old cyclist, Geoff Hollands, when he collapsed on Swale Way, Kemsley in May 2023.