Who can join NHS Cadets?

Our programme aims to expand opportunities for young people who face barriers to a future in healthcare. St John Ambulance and NHS England & Improvement aim to enrol 10,000 Cadets and provide them with learning and volunteering opportunities, boosting skills in care, leadership and teamwork.

We want to support young people in communities across England who will benefit most from our support and training. The programme is fully funded, and free for those who qualify to be an NHS Cadet.

Are you our next NHS Cadet?

We are delighted that you are interested in our programme! Our Cadets come from a diverse range of backgrounds: examples could include caring for a family member, being a refugee, or coming from a minority ethnic background. There is no 'typical' NHS Cadet, and there could be one or more reasons why our programme would be a good match for you.


We need to make sure NHS Cadets is helping those who will benefit most from our pathways into healthcare, and we measure this though our application form. Some of the questions might feel a bit personal at first. Remember you can select 'prefer not to say', or tell us about yourself in your own words too.

Click each header to find out what we ask on the application form. We'll explain more about each point to help you understand if you qualify.


Do you identify with one or more of these statements?

I'm from a minority ethnic group

NHS Cadets champions diversity: we aim to be ethnically diverse and mirror the communities we work in. We would love to hear from you if you identify as having an ethnic minority background.

There are lots of different ethnic groups, and an ethnic minority is defined as all groups except the White British group. Minority ethnic groups can include Asian, Asian British, Black, African, Caribbean, Arab, and a full list can be found on this website.


Helpful facts:

  • Sometimes ethnicities can be listed as nationalities, such as Bangladeshi, Indian, Pakistani or Chinese.
  • You can be from a White minority ethnic group, and this could include Gypsy, Roma and Irish Traveller groups.
  • If you are from a Mixed ethnic group, you will identify with more than one of these groups. Mixed and Multiple ethnic backgrounds are recognised as minority ethnic groups, and this includes people with part White British heritage.
I am not the only ethnic minority in my group - I was really glad to see how inclusive and diverse the programme is. Foundation NHS Cadet, who identifies as having a minority ethnic background

How to tell us when you apply:

“Are you from a minority ethnic group?”

You can select 'Yes', 'No' or 'Prefer not to say'. This information will help your application if it is your main reason for applying.

More information about ethnicities is available here from the Government’s website.

I consider myself part of the LGBTQI+ community  |  I am Questioning

I’m not in education, employment or training (NEET) | I'm at risk of this

I’m struggling with my progress at school or college

I provide regular care or support for someone

I live in care  |  I’ve recently left care

I receive free school meals

I have mental health concerns

I consider myself neurodivergent  |  I have special educational needs

I consider myself to have a disability or impairment

I am seeking asylum  |  I am a refugee

Frequently asked questions

Can't find a location near you? Want to find other St John opportunities? Our FAQ section is here to help.

Find answers

Contact us if you're not sure

It is totally okay if you just aren’t sure about some of the questions. Please drop us a message and our friendly team will be happy to help.

We feel our youth programmes offer something for everyone, so will be happy to find the perfect opportunity for you.

Contact us