12 June 2015
Five staff and volunteers have been recognised in the Queen's birthday honours list including our resident first aid supremo, Joe Mulligan. Joe has been given an honorary OBE for his tireless work over the past 20 years.
Joe, the British Red Cross’ head of first aid education, was recently awarded an honorary Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his ‘services to first aid and community resilience’.
The veteran staff member – originally from County Mayo in western Ireland – is a qualified nurse, teacher and former ambulance crew member.
Over the past 20 years, Joe has championed a more approachable and dynamic style of first aid education.
During that time, the British Red Cross has greatly expanded its reach through community-based first aid groups, school teaching materials and social media. The organisation now reaches well over half a million people with first aid learning every year.
Joe’s lilting Irish brogue and deft comic touch have helped win over many new first aid fans over the years.
In 2014, he was a smash hit on Chris Evans’ BBC Radio 2 show, presenting a mini-series of first aid tips. Joe is also a regular favourite at the annual Baby Show in London, where he speaks to huge audiences about life-saving skills for little ones.
Speaking about the big news, Joe said: “There are several people who deserve a piece of this award: those who have journeyed with me over the past 20 years, my supportive family, and my colleagues for their vision and dedication.
“Finally, I’d like to thank all those who have without fanfare advocated for the importance of first aid education. I really hope first aid becomes second nature to people.
“You never know when you might be able to save a life. It is an extraordinary skill to have.”
Receiving the OBE won’t mark the first time Joe has crossed paths with the Royal Family. Years ago, he delivered a bespoke first aid session for Prince Harry (and his team of bodyguards).
And on several occasions, he has provided personal refresher sessions to HRH the Prince of Wales, a keen first aider.
And there's more good news. Mark Astarita, the British Red Cross’ director of fundraising, has been awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to fundraising.
Three other Red Cross members have also been honoured. Volunteers Fiona Hamilton and Anne Deane both received the Member of the British Empire (MBE), and Dorothy Huddart was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM)
Between them, the hard-working trio have volunteered for more than 112 years and their honours are richly deserved.