Youngsters' date at the palace

young achievers 2008

Around 70 young St John Ambulance members enjoyed an afternoon at Buckingham Palace last week when they were honoured at the charity's Young Achievers' Reception.

HRH The Princess Royal, Commandant in Chief (Youth), welcomed each excited youngster to the Palace and congratulated them on their exceptional achievement.

The annual reception celebrates the accomplishments of Badgers, Cadets, Young Carers and young adult members and recognises the commitment they have made throughout the year.

Amazing young people

One member who particularly enjoyed the day was Samantha Barrington, a 10-year-old Badger from the West Midlands. She has thrown herself into her Sett’s activities at the same time as coping with serious health problems. She was looking forward to meeting The Princess Royal: ‘At first she looked strict, but once she started talking to us she was really nice! I was so excited to come here today, and I’m really proud of myself.’

It is testament to the hard work and skill of these young people that Her Royal Highness welcomed them to Buckingham Palace to recognise their outstanding work.

Sarah Holmes
Chief Commissioner for Youth

Other exceptional young people at the reception included:

  • Caroline Murphy, a 15-year-old Cadet who was first on the scene at two road traffic accidents – one in London’s Trafalgar Square.
  • Wiltshire Cadet Norman Butler, who cares for several members of his family as well as making time for first aid duties with St John Ambulance.
  • Harry Baker, who has raised over £2500 for his division in Dorset by organising large fundraising events, at just 13.
  • Natasha Simpson from South and West Yorkshire, who looked after her grandmother by herself when she became unwell during a visit – on one occasion, staying up all night to care for her.

Many young people took the opportunity to see some of London’s most famous sights in the morning before the big event. In the afternoon, they combated their nerves and perfected their uniforms before meeting The Princess Royal and enjoying the delicious Palace hospitality.

Outstanding work

Sarah Holmes, Chief Commissioner for Youth at St John Ambulance, said: ‘It is testament to the hard work and skill of these young people that Her Royal Highness welcomed them to Buckingham Palace to recognise their outstanding work.

‘Everybody here has made an amazing contribution to their local communities all year round, and really deserve to be included in such a special day.’