Monday 20th February: Kyle Dean-Curtis has been congratulated and named as St John Ambulance’s National Cadet of the Year for 2023.   

The 17-year-old from Barnet was selected from 36 of the charity’s superstar Cadets - all of whom had won district competitions to earn their place at the national final at Eastwood Hall, Nottinghamshire, over the weekend of 17-19 February. 

Photo credit: Brian Aldrich Photography

The Cadet programme (10–17-year-olds), which celebrated its centenary last year, plays a huge role in developing the next generations of health professionals, volunteers and lifesavers. Last year more than 1,600 young Cadets provided 45,700 hours of lifesaving first aid and care alongside adult St John volunteers.  

Kyle and finalists faced rigorous challenges which demonstrated, not only their exemplary first aid knowledge but questioned about their passion for volunteering in their community, leadership communication and teamwork skills. The A level student impressed judges with his experience of  treating patients at events with blisters, burns, wrist injuries and a hypoglycaemic seizure. 

“I have always had a passion for healthcare, but it was over Covid I began chatting to my grandad about St John Ambulance and he told me he had been a Cadet between 1974 to 1984, and he got into because of his dad. So, I decided to join too.” 

And just three years later, Kyle, has been awarded National Cadet. 

He said, “I am honestly shocked and a little overwhelmed. There are a lot of great people here, and all 36 Cadets are amazing – I have made lifelong friends. I love this organisation and the wonderful people I have met, and the opportunities it offers.” 

Kyle, who plans to study paramedicine or Emergency Medicine, is looking forward to representing St John Ambulance at high-profile events and ceremonial occasions as well as being ‘the voice; for youth’ and growing the youth participation team at the charity. 

Photo credit: Brian Aldrich Photography

Outgoing National Cadet Georgina Heron-Edmends, said: “This past year has taken me all around the country to meet royalty and hear and see some amazing young people actively making a difference in their communities. Young people are not the voices of tomorrow, they are the first aiders, advocates, and face of our organisation in the here and now.”  

St John Ambulance Chief Executive, Martin Houghton-Brown, who sat on the judging panel, said: “Congratulations to our winners. The National Cadet of the Year competition is one of the highlights of my year. It really is such a privilege to spend time with all of these outstanding young people. Our Cadets are really put through their paces and tested not only on their first aid, but also how they have benefited their communities.  

“This year, as always, we have Cadets who have used their first aid skills to help people in extraordinary situations from seizures in schools, head injuries at football matches, a chain saw injury to helping someone who had fallen off a horse amongst other urgent first aid scenarios. I am extremely proud of all of the finalists and - indeed of all our young people across St John – you are a credit to St John and your communities.”  

Congratulations were expressed too by Ann Cable St John Ambulance’s Chief Commissioner, who also sat on the judging panel. She said: “The National Cadet of the Year is a really important role for St John that brings with it lots of responsibility. Kyle gave an exceptional performance across the board and is a worthy winner, congratulations to him. 

In addition to the National Cadet of the Year award, the Regional Cadets of the Year were also named.  

They are:  

South East – Duncan Matulewicz-Boyle 

London – Jerome Fernando 

South West – Ana Robinson Pons 

West Midlands – Kenzie Foulkes

East Midlands – Poppy Tydeman 

East of England – Bianca Giancola 

North East – Sneha Daga 

North West – Sonali Koku Hannadige 

Photo credit: Brian Aldrich Photography

Molly Duckworth from Douglas, Isle of Man, was named the Commanderies Cadet of the Year and Jerome Fernando and Duncan Matuiwicz-Boyle were jointly awarded the Miller First Aid Trophy as the highest scoring Cadet in the first aid assessments.  

This team of Cadets have a key role in making sure the voices of young volunteers are heard at the highest level in St John and represent St John Ambulance at ceremonial occasions. His Majesty is Sovereign Head of the Order of St John, St John Ambulance’s parent charity.   

St John Ambulance youth programmes range from those aged 5-25 years and rely on volunteers and donations.  Ask Us how you can get involved and find out more at