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NHS Cadets Programme

The NHS Cadets Programme is delivered in partnership by St John Ambulance and NHS trusts across England. Together we are supporting young people from a range of diverse backgrounds, enabling them to develop their potential in roles they might not have considered previously.

The work of the NHS Cadets Programme is not possible without your support. We aim to transform the lives of young people, equipping them with the skills to aspire towards roles which support crucial NHS services.


We’re delighted at Barts Health to work in partnership with St John Ambulance to grow and support NHS Cadets, who are valued members of our local communities, key influencers as well as potential future members of the NHS workforce. Kath Evans, Barts Health NHS Trust

NHS Cadets mission statement

Our mission is to attract, develop and prepare 14-18 year olds to enter and be able to sustain themselves in health volunteering opportunities.

Specifically widening access to health volunteering from groups that have not traditionally entered these volunteering opportunities.

Pathways into healthcare

By working in partnership, we can ensure Cadets develop practical life skills and gain experiences of volunteering for the NHS.

You can bring the programme to life for young people, offering them a window into volunteering opportunities and the day-to-day operations within healthcare. 

Here are some of the ways you can support the programme:


Foundation Pathway (ages 14-16)

  • Shared volunteering experience, for example a day trip to a hospital within the trust
  • Tours of different healthcare departments
  • Talks from key members of staff in each area


Advanced Pathway (ages 16-18)

  • Identifying volunteering placements for individual Cadets
  • Volunteer mentoring opportunities for specialisms
  • Providing guest speakers for sessions or interactive specialist webinars

Delivering the programme

St John Ambulance will recruit experienced Project Teams, made up of qualified staff to make the sessions engaging for young people and bring the programme to life. The Project Lead will be your main contact throughout the programme, and they will oversee a team of Youth Support Workers and Volunteers.

We host regular learning network meetings to identify best practice across all the trusts supporting NHS Cadets. These virtual meetings offer a platform to share progress and achievements across all our locations.


The NHS Cadets Programme has given me more information about a potential future in healthcare and the confidence to go for it! NHS Cadet, Foundation Pathway

Reasons why trusts sign up to NHS Cadets

1. Delivering positive outcomes for young people


2. Creating opportunities to attract a more diverse workforce


3. Bringing something positive to the local community 

Find out how we can improve young people's futures

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