National Cadet of the Year announced

Sophy Ansell 2011 National Cadet

Sophy Ansell has been awarded the esteemed title of St John Ambulance National Cadet of the Year 2011.

The competition was held over three days from 11-13 February at PGL Adventure's activity centre in Swindon. The 16-year-old competed against 40 other Cadets to attain the prestigious title.

The Hampshire Cadet will act as an ambassador for the organisation by demonstrating how first aid can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved, in addition to being an inspirational leader to St John Ambulance's young members.

Over the year, she will represent St John Ambulance Cadets at a number of events and charity balls. This includes her duty representing the organisation at a reception at Buckingham Palace in November where Cadets will meet HRH The Princess Royal who is Commandant in Chief (Youth) for St John Ambulance.

Test of skill

The three-day competition required the Cadets to be assessed on various skills, including first aid, teamwork, initiative under pressure and leadership.

'It was a privilege to represent my county at the National Cadet of the Year Competition. I had a fantastic weekend and it didn't even feel like a competition because everyone was so nice and I've made lots of new friends. I'm looking forward to representing St John Ambulance at all the events that I'll be attending over the year,' said Ansell.

The Fareham student wasn't the only Cadet to impress the judges, two other young individuals who also shone throughout the competition were Harry Chalkin from Gloucestershire and Gargi Pandey from Northern Ireland, who will be recognised as deputies.

'It has been one of the greatest, hardest and most fun weekends I have ever had. I'm looking forward to working with St John Ambulance on a national level and representing young people up and down the country,' said Chalkin.

St John Ambulance has 18,000 young members and believes that young people should have an opportunity to learn first aid at a young age so that they’re equipped to act quickly in an emergency and be the difference within their community.

Setting an example

Daryl Perkins, St John Ambulance Chief Officer Youth said young people are great advocates for promoting first aid as a vital life skill for people of all ages to learn. 

'Sophy Ansell demonstrated great dedication and enthusiasm over the course of the competition and we are delighted that she is representing young people who learn first aid throughout the country,' he said.