75 years of the NHS
St John Ambulance’s Cadet of the Year, Kyle Dean-Curtis says he is "honoured” to have helped lead the procession at a special event at Westminster Abbey marking 75 years of the NHS.
Leading the way, Kyle joined by May Parsons, an associate chief nurse who delivered the world’s first COVID vaccine, and 91-year-old Enid Richmond, who was one of the first people to work in the NHS.
Kyle Dean-Curtis, whose experience as a St John Cadet has encouraged him to begin pursuing a role in the NHS as a paramedic, said: “I’m honoured to have the opportunity to represent thousands of young people at St John across the country who, like me, have learnt so much and gained so many new experiences to help begin careers in healthcare - and beyond.
“The atmosphere on the day was incredible and something I’ll never forget."
NHS Cadets share their experiences
Question 1: When did you start the programme?
Sumia: March 2022
Godwin: I started the Foundation in September 2021 and graduated in June 2022
Minali: I joined in September 2021 and completed the advanced programme in July 2022
Question 2: Why did you choose to become an NHS Cadet?
Sumia: I knew I wanted to work in the NHS but wasn’t sure what role to pursue. Being an NHS cadet with St John has helped me narrow down what I wanted to do
Godwin: I was interested in a health career and heard about NHS Cadets through school
Minali: I always knew I wanted to become a doctor of some sort. My dream job is to become an Obstetrician/Gynaecologist as I believe women’s health is one of the most crucial areas of healthcare. But I have to admit, NHS Cadets made me much more appreciative for our healthcare system as I learned about all the amazing ways it supports us and I would say that not only do I want to become a doctor, I want to become a part of the NHS
I’m now applying to become a paramedic at university with the skills I have learnt.
Question 3: What do you enjoy most about NHS Cadets?
Sumia: I enjoyed being able to have discussions and learn new things about the NHS as well as make new friends. Being able to build on my communication skills in front of a group really helped build my confidence
Minali: I have gotten to meet so many amazing people and take part in incredible events during my time. I feel incredibly lucky to have been a part of it. One of the most exciting opportunities was attending the Downing Street Jubilee Party, I met other young people from youth organisations and spoke to many inspiring figures including one of the first ever NHS volunteers! I also attended a Parliamentary First Aid Drop In where I taught MPs how to deliver CPR in emergency situations as well as discuss with political figures the wonderful impact NHS Cadets has had on my life and the support it has given me in achieving my future aspirations
Question 4: Describe what you do as an NHS Cadet in 100 words
Godwin: You learn about the NHS and its core values while having fun and doing lots of cool tasks. You learn first aid, plus other roles in the NHS other than nurse or doctor roles. We learnt about other job roles available, like managerial apprenticeship positions.
The training involves different scenarios, such as what to do in a car crash and so on which was really good. I haven’t yet used any of the skills I’ve learnt, but I would be confident what to do
Minali: As well as learning life-saving first aid skills and wonderful things about the NHS, there was a solid focus on CV building, Interview skills and University prep.
I’d say one of the skills NHS Cadets really helped me build on was my ability to talk to people I didn’t know.
I learned how to work in a team during mini presentation projects which benefitted me even outside of Cadets as I feel more comfortable when working in a team, even if I’m not with my friends.
Question 5: What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about volunteering or working in health and care?
Sumia: Don’t be scared to ask questions, volunteering at the hospital in Bristol really scared me at first but the NHS and St John volunteering team are so helpful when you have any concerns
Godwin: Go for it – you get to do lots of cool tasks while having fun
Minali: One of the greatest things about working in health care is there are hundreds of different roles. Though the first jobs that come to mind are often doctors and nurses, NHS Cadets taught me that there are in fact over 350 careers!
BBC Traitors’ star Dr Amos celebrates NHS Cadets
Presenting the young people with their awards, the BBC star opened up about some of the barriers he had to overcome at the start of his career, and said: “As a kid, the prospect of a career in medicine seemed impossible. Kids from my school in North London, dyslexic and growing up on an estate, just didn’t go on to become doctors.
“Amongst the many barriers I faced, finding a way of getting experience in healthcare was by far the most significant. Which is why projects such as the NHS Cadets programme are so incredibly important for opening opportunities and breaking down barriers.”