Sunderland ambulance worker awarded Queen's medal as Princess Anne visits North East

A Royal visit in Hebburn saw a Sunderland ambulance worker recognised with the Queen’s Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct after 26 years of service.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 4:57 pm
Clare Graham and her husband Dave Graham with the Queen's Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct

Her Royal Highness Princess Anne visited the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) station in Hebburn to give out the medals and recognise the outstanding contribution of 14 frontline ambulance staff, who between them have more than 285 years of service.

During the visit, Princess Anne met with ambulance staff, toured the station, and witnessed a demonstration of a response to a terrorist incident from the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART).

Among the recipients of the Queen’s Medal For Long Service and Good Conduct was Clare Graham, from Sunderland, who has worked in the ambulance service for 26 years and is now a clinical care manager, looking after frontline staff within the Pallion cluster, covering Pallion, Rainton Bridge, and South Shields.

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Princess Anne arriving at Hebburn Ambulance Station in Monkton Industrial Estate

Speaking about receiving the award, she said: “It’s a proud moment today. I’ve been in the service for 26 years and this is definitely just an overwhelming moment. It’s such a privilege to have one of the Royal Family presenting the award and I feel very honoured.”

Clare’s ambulance career began on patient transport in October 1995 and since then she has met her husband David who also works for NEAS and in 2016 was named senior manager of the year at the NEAS awards.

Recently, she has also had the opportunity to work on the national Covid vaccination program at various sites including Sunderland’s Nightingale Hospital.

The Ambulance Service (Emergency Duties) Long Service and Good Conduct Medal is designed for emergency ambulance staff who have worked on the frontline for more than 20 years.

Princess Anne talking to North East Ambulance staff

NEAS chief executive Helen Ray said: “I’m so very proud of the contribution all our teams have made to keep the North East public safe and today we especially recognise the huge contribution that our HART and 111 colleagues have made.”

The Lord-Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Mrs Susan Winfield, said: “Every year it gives me great pleasure to meet the men and women who have given so much to our region over their years of service to present them with their Queen’s Medal."

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Princess Anne with North East Ambulance staff who received the Queen's Medal For Long Service and Good Conduct