St John Scotland volunteer recognised in Queen’s birthday honours

Publication date 12 June 2021

A dedicated St John Scotland volunteer has been honoured by Her Majesty The Queen in the Birthday Honours list announced today, Saturday, 12 June 2021.

Sandy Bowman has been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to St John Scotland Patient Transport.

Sandy, a retired Chief Inspector with Tayside Police, has volunteered with St John Scotland for several years. He has been recognised for the significant role he plays in coordinating our Patient Transport service in Angus and Dundee. The service was established in 2008 and sees a team of volunteers provide free transport to renal and oncology patients across Tayside.

As Patient Transport Coordinator, Sandy is responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the service, on which both patients and the NHS staff who treat them rely. He oversees a team of 25 volunteers who are on the roads six days a week, 12 months of the year, providing a service which many patients describe as a lifeline.

Photo of Sandy Bowman

As the key contact between the volunteer drivers, patients, and the oncology and renal units the service deals with, Sandy is on call to respond to last-minute changes in volunteers’ availability or patient needs, and always goes above and beyond to provide the best service possible.

Being recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours is a fitting achievement for Sandy, who has demonstrated his outstanding dedication as a volunteer throughout the challenges of the Covid pandemic. In March 2020 as the impact of the pandemic was becoming apparent, Sandy took a lead role in ensuring St John Scotland could continue to provide the Patient Transport service in a way that was safe for both patients and volunteers.

Photo of Sandy Bowman

Due to the demands on the NHS during the first months of the pandemic, the St John Scotland service in Angus and Dundee was asked to provide extra transport to patients to relieve the burden on health services. Thanks to Sandy’s excellent planning and desire to always help whenever possible, the service was able to step up to help when it was needed most.

As well as his role as Patient Transport Coordinator, Sandy also chairs the Angus and Dundee committee of St John Scotland. The team of volunteers work to provide Public Access Defibrillators and CPR training, in communities across the Angus and Dundee area, while St John Scotland’s Community First Responders in Angus are trained volunteers who respond to emergencies across the region.

Congratulating Sandy on his award, Prior and Chair of St John Scotland, Mark Strudwick, said: “St John Scotland takes great pride in what we do for our communities, and we rely on selfless people like Sandy Bowman MBE OStJ to deliver our life-saving services. It is tremendous that Sandy’s very significant part in this has now been appropriately recognised through the award of this honour. On behalf of the Board, members, volunteers and staff of St John Scotland I warmly congratulate him”.