Seventy young achievers honoured at this year's Buckingham Palace reception

Young Achievers' Reception 2012

Seventy St John Ambulance volunteers were recognised at this year's Young Achievers’ Reception at Buckingham Palace.

The young people, including Cadets, Badgers and Young Carers, were rewarded with the special annual reception, which celebrates their individual achievements and acknowledges their hard work.

Each young volunteer was given the opportunity to meet HRH The Princess Royal, Commandant in Chief (Youth) for St John Ambulance, who welcomed them to the palace and praised them for their outstanding contributions to the first aid charity.

Brave Paige

Courageous Paige Dawson helped a man who was lying on the ground of Bedlington train station because he was having a seizure.  She used her first aid knowledge to keep the man still after he had suffered neck injuries, as well as placing a blanket under his head for support. She also reassured him until emergency help arrived. Paige has used first aid in other situations including public events, where she had to monitor a stroke victim at Sunderland air show whilst on duty.

Paige said: ‘I am really excited to meet Princess Anne and am so happy to be nominated. I’ve realised how first aid is such an important life skill to have, as it’s something you can’t always learn from your mum or dad. My parents are both very proud of me. When I am older I want to become a children’s nurse so I can carry on helping others.’

Inspirational young people commended 

The reception also recognised a number of other outstanding young people, including:

  • Northern Ireland-based Jack Lafferty, a 14-year-old who saved his Dad’s life when he collapsed at home and suffered severe bleeding from the head
  • Ronan Mcfeely, also from Northern Ireland, stopped to help a young child lying on the side of the road on his way to college. He bravely took control of the situation, fetching a blanket and first aid kit, before calling an ambulance and monitoring the child until it arrived
  • Twelve-year-old Kelsey Stansfield from Hull, used valuable first aid skills and then called an ambulance when her dad cut his head open on the corner of a table.

Equipping young people with life saving skills 

St John Ambulance believes that every young person should have the opportunity to learn basic life saving skills. Working with young people aged from five to 25, the organisation aims to provide a fun and safe environment to learn first aid. The Young Achievers’ Reception offers St John Ambulance the opportunity to reward the excellent work of young people within the organisation.

Wendy Human, Head of Youth at St John Ambulance, said:

‘The Young Achievers’ Reception allows us to give recognition to the inspiring bravery and dedication shown by these young people. We hope that having the opportunity to share their experiences and meet Her Royal Highness in Buckingham Palace will give them all a sense of pride in what they have achieved. They are all exceptional individuals and we hope that they thoroughly enjoyed the day.’