2017 was once again a record year for the Society, with 691 awards made to people whose actions saved 325 lives. There is a story behind every one of those awards, often about bravery and sacrifice, but always about selflessness. Each award represents an act of humanity towards a fellow human being who is usually a stranger. It is refreshing to see an increasing awareness of the work that the Society does, and that can only grow as we face ever more threats from terrorism, crime and mental health issues. The widespread improvement in first aid education has had a significant impact on the number of lives saved; it has given people the knowledge and confidence to get involved when faced with a life or death situation, and this is clearly reflected in this year’s record figures. Meeting these modest but always courageous awardees is very rewarding for me and I cherish my involvement with the Society.
It remains for me to thank all of you who continue to support the Royal Humane Society in carrying out its work, and I wish the Society every success in the coming year.
Photo: Hugo Burnand