ROYALTY was on hand to congratulate two Worcestershire women when they were awarded the workplace hero award at the St John Ambulance's Award Ceremony.

Karen Lawrance, 48, of Worcester, and Diane Fullerton, 49, from Ledbury, were presented with the award on Wednesday night in London in front of an audience including the Countess of Wessex for saving the life of Chris McDonald, a visitor to their Pershore workplace last May.

Famous TV personalities Tess Daley and Matthew Wright gave the award to the pair who said they were surprised to receive the award.

Both were working at General Dynamics UK in May last year when they were visited by Mr McDonald who collapsed. The two on-site first aiders trained by St John Ambulance moved into action came to his rescue.

They began cardio pulmonary resuscitation, which had no impact on Mr McDonald's vital signs. So they used an automated external defibrillator, keeping him alive until the paramedics arrived.

Ms Lawrance said: "We were surprised, we thought it was an ordinary thing that we did because we could do it. It was amazing to do but we were very lucky and Chris was very lucky.

"It was something we were prepared for and wow, we had to do it."

Mrs Fullerton added: "It was a lovely evening. Everybody was really kind and we were surprised to win. We had to go on stage and had out photos taken.

"Early in the evening we met the Countess of Wessex. She was great, very complimentary and enthusiastic and encouraging."

And despite being one the heroes of the evening the pair were inspired by other stories told during the night including that of footballer Fabrice Muamba, who suffered a cardiac arrest while playing for Bolton Wanderers.

Mrs Fullerton said: "All the others stories were so inspiring. What everybody else had done, it was quite emotional. Small children saving their dad and all sorts of incredible stories.

"It was really lovely, a very special evening."

The two are also now hoping to encourage more communities to get defibrillators installed.

Ms Lawrance said: "In Peopleton they have had five installed. Cities like Worcester and Hereford need more of these machines."

Sue Killen, chief executive of St John Ambulance and chair of judges for Everyday Heroes said: "These Everyday Heroes are an inspiration to us all. Anyone can learn first aid but not enough people do.

"Whether you download a free app or go on two hour course, it’s so easy to learn. We urge everyone to follow these life savers’ lead so you too can be the difference between life and death."