Sam Lawday appointed St John Ambulance Cadet of the Year

Cadet of the Year and Deputies 2009

Sam Lawday a 16-year-old Cadet from Dorset, has been named the St John Ambulance National Cadet of the Year 2009.

Thirty-seven Cadets from across the country took part in the annual National Cadet of the Year competition in Nottingham this weekend. Cadets were assessed on a variety of skills including teamwork, initiative under pressure, organisation, leadership and interpersonal communication.

‘I feel so proud to be the new National Cadet of the Year,’ said Sam. ‘It feels amazing, I’m speechless. It was so unexpected – there were so many amazing Cadets I didn’t think I was in with a chance. I’m definitely looking forward to the year ahead.’

Sam’s mother, Sonja Lawday, who was watching on as he was honoured said: ‘I’m incredibly proud. I nearly fell off my chair and there was no one sitting in my row with a tissue.’

Max Anderson from South and West Yorkshire and Natalie Dennehy from Berkshire were appointed as the two Deputy Cadets of the Year for 2009.

I want to show that at SJA we learn more than first aid. We have fun, make friends, help people and learn new things – from DIY to law and kayaking.

Sam Lawday
Cadet of the Year 2009

St John Ambulance has over 26,000 youth members and believes that every young person should have the opportunity to make a real difference in their community, to speak out on what matters to them and to help others in need of support and development. As National Cadet of the Year, Sam will represent all Cadets at a range of events – including charity balls, award ceremonies and competitions - acting as an ambassador for the organisation which is the nation’s leading first aid charity.

Sam continued: ‘St John Ambulance’s Youth Strategy has offered huge benefits to people like me. An ever changing programme, achievement that is rewarded and the chance to give young people a voice – this is what we asked for and SJA has really listened. I want to show that at SJA we learn more than first aid. We have fun, make friends, help people and learn new things – from DIY to law and kayaking.’

Sarah Holmes, Chief Commissioner Youth said: ‘At a time when young people are considered a nuisance to society, our Cadets have once again shown this weekend what an outstanding credit they are to the organisation, their families and the local community.

'It is a great achievement to be nominated to take part in this competition, let alone win it. Sam demonstrated tremendous dedication and enthusiasm over the course of the competition and we are delighted that he is our National Cadet of the Year 2009.’