Main image: Morriston Hospital bed manager Katie Arnold, left, gives up her free time to volunteer with St John Ambulance Cymru. She is also pictured together with fellow SJAC and Morriston colleague Della Llewellyn providing nursing cover at a concert in Swansea.
A nurse so dedicated to helping others that she even gives up her spare time to do it has received a special honour.
Morriston Hospital’s Katie Arnold has been admitted into the Order of St John for her work with St John Ambulance Cymru.
The Royal Order of Chivalry, which has its roots in the middle ages, is approved by King Charles and recognises her service with the Welsh first aid charity.
The rules around the Order mean she will never know who has nominated her. But she will be known as an Officer of St John.
Katie, a bed manager, said: “I’m honoured to get it, but I don’t think I do anything different to anyone else.”
After originally joining St John Ambulance aged 10, Katie became a registered nurse in 1998 and cared for burns patients in London before a stint nursing in the Army.
Following a break from volunteering and a move to Swansea in 2001, where she spent time in both Singleton and Morriston hospitals’ Accident and Emergency departments, Katie re-joined St John Ambulance Cymru nine years ago.
“I am a deputy Divisional Officer in Charge of the nurses and paramedics for the west Glamorgan region,” she said.
“My main role is arranging nursing cover for large events across the area, such as pop concerts. We also provide volunteers for the Gerallt Davies Help Point, a specialist city centre treatment facility in Swansea which cares for and treats vulnerable and injured people on nights out.”
Katie added: “I’ve covered lots of events myself, but my favourite is probably the Wales Airshow.”
Colleague and senior matron Rebecca Davies said: “Katie is tremendously committed to both her paid and volunteer roles, but she is extremely modest and shies away from recognition.
“I’m so pleased to see she has been formally acknowledged for her compassion.”
Richard Paskell, St John Ambulance Cymru’s Chief Volunteer, said: “I am immensely proud of Katie and so pleased to see her admitted into our Order for her dedication and commitment to volunteering with St John Ambulance Cymru.
“She truly is an ambassador for our charity and an exemplar volunteer.
“Katie selflessly dedicates hundreds of hours to her local community in Swansea, ensuring they are safe whilst attending events and whilst socialising during the thriving night-time economy. The Gerallt Davies Help Point certainly wouldn’t be the success it is now, without her oversight and commitment.”