Director of Youth joins in with Caring Connections

St John Wales’ very own Director of Youth, Damian Thomas has been very involved with the project this week.  He has created his own, personal digital story about his relationship with his Nan.  Damian thoroughly enjoyed the creative process in making his story, it was definitely less complicated than he thought it was going to be.

We’d like to thank Damian for sharing his story with us.

Wrexham Digital Story

Digital story created by St John members Chloe Hallam and Rhys Braisdell from Wrexham Division. The story features Wrexham’s oldest member Mr Reg Williams MBE who is still in uniform. View transcript

He joined cadets in 1936 then aged 11, and was driving the ambulances at 17. During his service he has attended many prestigious events, including being on duty outside for the St Paul’s Cathedral for the wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981. He was awarded a Priory Vote of Thanks in 1960, and awarded a Serving Brother in 1983.





In 1995 Reg was awarded an MBE, this was presented by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace. This he took in his stride, but having it announced to a large crowd at the Wrexham racecourse at the next home match, shocked him. When officially retired at the age of 70, a special night was arranged at the headquarters in prices lane. Reg was taken off out the way, while everything was organized. Jean his wife was brought down in secret and the room was assembled. On his return he entered the room and was surprised to find everyone there. He was presented with a retirement mug and everyone enjoyed a great party. In his years of service Reg has served as a cadet, a member, he served many years as officer in charge and he is still in uniform as a member of the fellowship.

Rhys and Chloe’s report on interview with Reg Williams MBE

“We interviewed Mr Reg Williams MBE about the past history of his life as a cadet and his history of his life.  We interviewed him with a question sheet, we asked him numerous questions and recorded the interview.  We then used audio to edit the recording of his past history and life.  We found out a lot of information about St John life eg. about the old uniform etc. The interview was very interesting and we found out a lot of things we didn’t know before hand.”



Did You Know…?

Taking part in the Caring Connections project could help you gain:

• Duke of Edinburgh Award
Involvement in the project would potentially cover 2 different DofE categories, Volunteering (working with the older people in the care home) and Skills (life skills / media and communication)

• International Baccalaureate Diploma
The Service element featured in one of the core requirements of the diploma (Creativity, Action, Service) can be achieved by participating in the project through helping the elderly at a care home.

• Amalfi Challenge
If you wanted to take part in this project you could set yourself challenges within all 4 elements of the Amalfi Cross: Service – Volunteering within St John or the wider community, Challenge – Your opportunity to pursue a personal goal, Relationships – Developing skills with other people, and Society – Developing an understanding of the society in which we live.

• Grand Prior Award
Participating in this project also covers several subjects featured in the cadet programme helping you towards the Grand Prior Award. Subjects included are: Communications, Community and Creative.

• Duty Hours
Any hours that you spend working on the project outside of your weekly divisional meetings can count towards your duty hours.

For more information or details on how to get involved, contact the Youth Department.

Llandrindod Wells Digital Storytelling workshop

Last weekend cadets and young adults at Llandrindod Wells division took part in a two day training workshop in digital storytelling with outreach workers Angharad and Mog from the University of Glamorgan.

Everybody taking part came away with some amazing personal stories, really powerful stuff.

The members are keen to put their new skills and knowledge into action and begin visits to several care homes in the area.


Here’s a selection of some of the stories created during their training.

“Inspiration in Memory” by Amy Louise Livingstone-Lawn.

“Lost Love” by Bernie Thomas.

“Moments” by Andrew Brimer.

“People” by James Brimer.

“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” by Jack Moorhouse.

Clydach Digital Stories

St John members in Clydach have made some excellent digital stories featuring older members from their community.  You can view a selection of the videos below.

Digital story featuring Hilary Stranagham (née Canton) made by St John member Mathew Thomas from Clydach division as part of the Caring Connections project.  View transcript.

Digital story created by St John members Kirsty Jones and Rebecca Marie Tyrell of Clydach Division. Mr Knight, 93 was a former member of St John. He was a young cadet when war broke out in 1939.  View transcript.

Digital story made as part of the Caring Connections project at St John Wales. Rebecca and Kirsty interviewed Mrs Evans from Park View House, Clydach.  View transcript.

This story was also made by Kirsty Jones and Rebecca Marie Tyrell of Clydach Division. The story includes Mrs Evans (featured in previous story) and her friend.  View transcript

Mid Wales training dates.

The digital storytelling training dates for Mid Wales have now been confirmed. The 2 day workshop will take place on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th March in Llandrindod Wells. Although the project will be based here, training and participation in the project is open to other divisions in Mid Wales so if you’re keen to take part, get in touch.

Wrexham Training Digital Stories

These are some of the stories created by the St John members in Wrexham during their digital storytelling training that took place in December.

Digital story by Chloe Hallam.

Digital Story created by Joe Wiffen.

Digital story by Sandra Craig.

Digital story by Rhys Braisdell.

Digital story created by Jared Williams.

Digital story by Daniel Allen.

Digital story by Lewis Steen.