St John's does have dedicated volunteers as stated in their mission statement

Marlon and Firzaana, St John's volunteers on duty at Kirstenbosch Gardens.

After meeting Firzaana and Marlon, two St. John's volunteers at Kirstenbosch gardens, I decided to google St John to read about the organisation and its mission statement. Right there in the first few lines, St Johns prides itself on its reputation as having dedicated volunteers. Well, we met two of the organisation's volunteers by chance and what has been our experience? We want to agree that this is true, based on our exchange with Marlon and Firzaana.


Yes, we can attest to the wonderful, caring service we received from Firzaana and Marlon. After enjoying ourselves at the Freshlyground sunset concert, we had to trek to our car about 300 meters from the concert lawn zone. Desiree, my eldest sister, kitted in beautiful shoes,but unsuitable for this kind of walking, ditched her red wedge-heeled contraptions. What was a nice showpiece, became like an albatross. So there we were- Desiree, Sasha and I - sauntering down the cobble pathway. Desiree was coping with her barefoot swing, but her big toe pointing to the heavens, suggested that there must have been a wee bit of strain on the size 3 foot.


We passed a bench or two but on sighting a third bench, Desiree did a quick about turn and decided to plonk herself down. Of course, we joined the barefooted traveller. Part of the crowd passing by included Marlon and Firzaana, beautifully clad in the St Johns uniform and armed with their big black tog bags. The next minute Desiree decided she needed to have her blood pressure checked and summarily called on our First Aiders. Without hesitating, both Marlon and Firzaana had deposited their first aid kit bags on the ground and took out their equipment to do the Bp reading of our drama queen. These young people were calm, efficient and chatted freely with us.


While Desiree almost created another spike in her unusually high pressure and showing signs of " I'm gonna scream now", we listened to the stories of our good Samaritans. We hear that Marlon attended Belhar High school near Bellville and that Firzaana is originally from Johannesburg.Sh e had just come down to Cape Town for a holiday, but then decided to stay here. Marlon told us he had done a motivational talk at his school. Marlon said one of the teachers who told him he will amount to nothing one day, was surprised to see how well his past student was doing. So much for those of us who make negative, and often damaging comments like this to the youth.

In action

We thoroughly enjoyed our conversation with the two young helpers. They seemed to enjoy our interest in them too, often interrupting each other to share a personal story. We learned that both of them are still studying because they want to fulfill their big dreams.

If Desiree had her way, she would have had a full medical. Fortunately Firzaana and Marlon's fellow workers stopped near us and this gave me a chance to get my eldest sis to continue her walk to our car.

Our day at Kirstenbosch gardens gave us multiple blessings. We lazed, danced and picnicked on the lawns while enjoying Freshlyground's smooth sounds. Before the concert started, we took advantage of Old Mutual's first aid service and were presented with the sweater in exchange for the checks and your phone number. Then, on the home run, we met the two St John's angels.

Life runs to you when you embrace it!

Friendly St John's staff joining the first aid "bench" service.




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