A special moment in the CEO of Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Jane Gurney’s career took place today (Wednesday 27th July), when she received an honorary degree from the University of Essex.

In recognition of her dedication to expand and improve pre-hospital care for those in need, Jane is now part of an inspiring list of over 300 people, who since 1967 have been honoured by the University for their contribution to the local community.

With proud husband Mark by her side, Jane attended the graduation ceremony, where, following her acceptance of the honorary doctorate, she addressed the students and their guests.

Jane has led the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust since 2003 and is the longest serving CEO of the 21 air ambulance charities in the UK. She is truly humbled to have been recognised by the University in this way, and in her speech she said:

“If someone had told me 20 years ago, I would be standing here on this stage delivering this speech, I simply wouldn’t have believed them, or thought it even possible. To put into words how much this really means to me is not easy.

“It is a real privilege to have led Essex & Herts Air Ambulance through so many milestones over the years, and to work alongside our amazing supporters, our dedicated staff and volunteers and our highly skilled critical care teams.

“I work with true experts in their fields, and I trust and value their knowledge and ideas; they inspire me to continually explore ways we can have the courage to innovate and improve patient outcomes. However, it goes without saying our patients and their families are the ones who truly inspire me and my team the most, to continue to deliver our life saving service today and into the future.

“They say if you find a job you love you will never work a day in your life, and this is my reality.”