4th April 2017
St John Ambulance is the nation’s leading first aid charity, with more than 400,000 people learning first aid yearly. Even more inspiring, St John Ambulance runs a very successful Cadet programme, which saw almost 18,000 young participants across the country learn first aid along with a wide range of other subjects such as leadership, communications and personal development. Be it Badgers or Cadets, all young people make the most of the opportunities offered to them.
And what better recognition of achievement for any young person than being awarded for your commitment?
Mathuza, Yameera, Skye, Emily-Louise, Aisha and Joshua come from units funded by Youth United’s Uniformed Youth Social Action Fund (UYSAF) and stand out as inspiring examples of leadership and what being a member of a youth group can do.
14-year old Mathuza Senthivel from East Ham has been named St John Ambulance’s East London Cadet of the Year for 2017 and will represent Cadets from across East London at public and St John Ambulance events. Mathuza has been part of St John Ambulance’s unit in East London since joining the organisation 18 months ago and now helps at weekly meetings by supporting younger volunteers.
Mathuza said “I’m really pleased to be East London Cadet of the Year; it was unexpected but I’m really looking forward to meeting lots of people and enjoying the opportunities and experiences it will bring. I always try to lead by example and I think this role will give me the chance to develop my leadership skills, as well as pushing me out of my comfort zone”.
Similarly, to Mathuza, Yameera Patel became St John Ambulance’s West London Cadet of the year, after joining St John Ambulance in Barnet 4 years ago. Of her experience, Yameera said “Cadets have amazing opportunities within St John Ambulance and I’m really keen to promote these opportunities to other young people and ensure they achieve everything they possibly can”.
Elsewhere in the country, Skye Marshall from Gateshead beat 31 other Cadets for the title of regional Cadet of the Year for the North. “There’s no way to describe how it feels when you are involved and doing all these amazing things and developing such key skills”, said Skye.
She came on top after competing in subjects such as communication, teamwork, presentation and social skills.
Emily-Louise Rose and Aisha Malik-Smith, two St John Ambulance Cadets from Bexleyheath, did their unit proud after taking home the titles of London District Cadet of the Year, representing South London and the Lord Mayor’s first aid ambassador Cadet.
Emily-Louise said: “Volunteering with St John Ambulance has changed my goals in life and has had a very positive impact on me. I want to encourage other Cadets to take every opportunity offered. The adult volunteers I meet at events are inspiring and I hope I can inspire other young volunteers in the same way.
“I hope to pursue a medical career – I witnessed my first cardiac arrest last year and this has spurred me on even further. I really want to be the difference in any way I can.”
Emily-Louise joined Bexleyheath St John Ambulance as a Cadet three years ago. She is now a Cadet Sergeant and Badger group leader and mentor, not only giving support to younger volunteers, but also passing on her first aid skills during training sessions. As well as being a youth volunteer with St John Ambulance, Aisha is one of the 20 appointed members of the NHS Youth Forum.
Aisha, who joined St John Ambulance three years ago, said:
Also displaying his passion for St John Ambulance is teenager Joshua Holden, who is a member of the Accrington unit and was recently presented with the “Most Outstanding Individual” Award from the Jane Goodall Roots and Shoots group. The organisation aims to encourage young people nationwide to take part in projects to help the environment and those in need.
As well as volunteering, Joshua also helped to organise a ‘Homeless Sleep-out’ that raised more than £2,000 for Nightsafe, Maundy Relief and the Salvation Army.