National Cadet of the Year is announced

Jennie Hunt, Jemma Samuel and Ed O'Brien

16 year-old Jemma Samuel from Buckinghamshire has been named St John Ambulance National Cadet of the Year 2012.

Tough competition

Jemma competed against 42 other cadets during the selection event, set at PGL Adventure’s activity centre in Swindon between 27-29 January, to win the esteemed title.

In her role as National Cadet of the Year, Jemma 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.

Jemma will also help to demonstrate to her peers that even at a young age they can learn valuable life and leadership skills. As such, she will have the opportunity to represent the organisation at a range of events including charity balls, award ceremonies and competitions and will undertake her duty to represent the organisation at a reception at Buckingham Palace where Cadets will meet HRH The Princess Royal who is Commandant in Chief (Youth) for St John Ambulance.

Setting the standard

During the annual selection weekend, cadets were assessed on their life saving first aid skills, teamwork, initiative under pressure, organisation, presentation skills and leadership, which resulted in the appointment of one National Cadet of the Year and two deputies.

It was a privilege to represent my county at the Cadet of the Year weekend,’ said Jemma who attends The Misbourne School at Great Missenden where she is studying French, Law and Public Services as she hopes to become a Police Officer.

She continued: ‘Apart from having a number of friends in St John Ambulance the best thing about being a member is knowing you can save someone’s life by just knowing a few key skills. And the more people who know these skills, the less likely someone is to die.

Being a member of St John Ambulance has enabled me to develop many skills and to take part in events with other young people, which is a brilliant way of making friends, as well as helping those in need. I have already put my first aid to good use and helped a friend who hurt herself when she fell down the stairs.’

Newly appointed Deputy Cadets of the Year Jennie Hunt from London District and Ed O’Brien from Lancashire also impressed assessors during the event and were selected to support Jemma in her role.

St John Ambulance has over 19,000 young members and believes that young people should have the 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.

Recognising excellence

Wendy Human, Head of Youth at St John Ambulance, said: ‘First aid is an important skill for people of all ages to learn. Young people, like Jemma, are great advocates of this message. St John Ambulance also provides young people with tremendous opportunities to develop a wide range of knowledge and skills in other areas and to be part of their local community.

Jemma demonstrated tremendous dedication and enthusiasm over the course of the selection weekend and we are delighted that she is representing young people who learn first aid, throughout the country.’