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Young people recognised

Some of 2010's Young Achievers

On 9 December, close to 75 young St John Ambulance members were honoured at Buckingham Palace at the Young Achievers' Reception.

Exceptional young people

HRH The Princess Royal, who is Commandant in Chief (Youth) for St John Ambulance, welcomed each young person to the Palace and congratulated them on their individual exceptional achievements.

The annual reception celebrates the accomplishments of Badgers, Cadets, Young Carers and young adult members and recognises the commitment they have made throughout the year.

11-year-old praised for rescuing father

Young Achiever, Ashley Ames from Derbyshire was praised for coming to the rescue of his unconscious father. Last January, while taking down the family Christmas lights, Ashley's father slipped and fell off the roof of their house compelling Ashley to swing into action. The capable 11-year-old was more anxious at meeting a member of the Royal Family than he was at using his life-saving first aid skills.

'I was really nervous when I meet the Princess Royal but excited at the same time. When I told her about my dad's accident, she was shocked and said well done for staying so calm,' he said.

More young people recognised

Ashley wasn't the only young person that was recognised at the reception. Other young people who were awarded at the reception included:

  • Jackie Haywood, a 15-year-old cadet from Norfolk who attended to a road traffic accident and helped save a woman involved in the incident
  • 11-year-old Danielle Bradshaw from Greater Manchester who has remained brave and ambitious despite recently having had her leg amputated at the knee –  a decision she made herself after enduring several years of problems with her right knee and hip. She offers help at all the events that her St John Ambulance division are involved in and is keen to practice her first aid skills
  • Jennifer Reed, 14, cares for her dad and has done so for five years since he was diagnosed with a progressive brain tumour. She joined her St John Ambulance division to learn first aid, which she thought may be useful while she cares for her father
  • Norfolk youngster Harry Pitchford, at only 8 years-old, helped save a young girl from drowning in deep waters.

Empowering young people to be the difference

As a major youth organisation, St John Ambulance works with young people from five to 25 to help them make friends, introduce them to new experiences and new skills. They are taught first aid skills that they will carry with them right through to adult life, empowering them to be the difference between a life lost and a life saved. The event demonstrates St John Ambulance's commitment to celebrate the achievements of young people.

Ian Callaghan, Deputy Chief Officer (Youth) for St John Ambulance said:

'These young people deserve to receive recognition for the dedication and hard work they’ve put in to help others while also showing an eagerness to develop themselves as individuals.

'Giving the young achievers the opportunity to meet Her Royal Highness at Buckingham Palace is a special day that we hope they’ll remember as a testament to their outstanding work.'