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News and views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
Issue 9 Summer 2009

Red Cross service on all fronts

Those who are regular blood donors in Woodbridge know that after the session there is always a welcome cup of tea and a biscuit. But did you know that Woodbridge Red Cross volunteers serve the teas, and that one person Joan Watkins has been a volunteer for over 40 years?

joan watkins
Joan Watkins in 1973 at a Red Cross
fundraising ball at Hintlesham Hall

Joans involvement with the British Red Cross began in May 1967 when she attended her initial First Aid lecture in Lincolnshire. She then took a nursing course and helped with blood donor teas at Deeping St James, at the same time supporting staff at the geriatric units of St Georges Hospital, Stamford.

Immediately on moving to Woodbridge in 1969 she started helping with blood donor teas, and with over 20 helpers, Joan has organised the tea rota ever since 1993. It is not all tea and biscuits, however; since 1969 Joan has also given dedicated service in nearly every section of Woodbridge Red Cross:

  • Bed Bathing Group (1971-1992), with responsibility for six older ladies
  • Old Peoples Club (1980-2002)
  • Red Cross Cadets (she became a Cadet Officer in 1971)
  • First Aid Team (1969-1992; Instructors Certificate awarded 1973)
  • Ipswich Hospital Geriatric Wards (1974-1979)
  • Family Planning Clinic (1980-1989)
  • Medical Loans (1997-2007)

Needless to say, when there has been a call on Flag Day for house-to-house or street collections, or when help was needed at the biennial Red Cross Ftes, Joan was there. This year she is a member of the Woodbridge Red Cross Centenary Celebrations Committee and was out collecting in the Thoroughfare on 9 May.

So next time you go to donate blood and see Joan there, you might like to tell her that her talents are no longer hidden and that we think she is just well brilliant!