‘Dedicated’ Banbury volunteer leaves St John Ambulance youth group

Olivia Guntrip with her mother Deborah Rose NNL-180730-160114001
Olivia Guntrip with her mother Deborah Rose NNL-180730-160114001

A dedicated Banbury teenager was showered with praise as she waved goodbye to her fellow young St John Ambulance volunteers.

Now 18 and with university on the horizon in September, Olivia Guntrip was thrown a big party by the group’s Banbury youth corps last month.

Olivia Guntrip at her enrolment in 2004 NNL-180730-160402001

Olivia Guntrip at her enrolment in 2004 NNL-180730-160402001

The ex-Banbury Academy pupil has been volunteering with St John since she was four-years-old and said she would miss her friends dearly.

“I started off doing ballet, I did better than my sister in the first grade and I was absolutely chuffed, but I decided ballet was not my thing.

“So the ballet teacher said there’s Badgers and that’s when I started, when the base was in Grimsbury.”

Olivia has passed all of her St John training, rising to cadet advanced first aider.

(L-R) Finn Wyatt, unit manager Aidan Sarvari, Olivia Guntrip and Lauren Smith NNL-180730-160103001

(L-R) Finn Wyatt, unit manager Aidan Sarvari, Olivia Guntrip and Lauren Smith NNL-180730-160103001

She said her highlight of her time with the Banbury corp was manning the St John stall at Fairport’s Cropredy Convention every year, as they would get to practise their training – mainly on bee stings – and enjoy the music.

Olivia could have been a doctor with her predicted grades at GCSE but decided nursing would be better as she wants to have more interaction with patients – hence the nursing course at Southampton University that awaits.

Unit manager Aidan Sarvari heaped praise on Olivia’s commitment and attitude, adding she will be sorely missed by the group.

Olivia’s mother Deborah Rose said she was really proud of her and it would be hard to see her go off to university.

Olivia Guntrip volunteering in Banbury town centre in 2017 NNL-180730-160413001

Olivia Guntrip volunteering in Banbury town centre in 2017 NNL-180730-160413001

“Most of them do it for a bit but then want to do something else but she’s been committed from day one, she had a shaky time in her teenage years, but she stuck at it,” Deborah said.

Aidan, Olivia’s commanding officer, has known her for four years and has even relied on her for help.

“Olivia is a dedicated, hard-working, committed, kind person. She’s been the best cadet that I’ve had the privilege of having in my unit. She has gone from strength to strength from when I met her,” he said.

Olivia encouraged anyone thinking about joining St John should go for it as they would not regret it.

Olivia Guntrip with David Wright, who was her youth leader for many years NNL-180730-160051001

Olivia Guntrip with David Wright, who was her youth leader for many years NNL-180730-160051001