At a recent unit meeting, the Selby cadets got together to assemble care packages for homeless people, learn more about their chosen topic of diversity and practise first aid skills – with the help of some gory make-up to fake their wounds.  
They, and their leaders, told us what they put in and get out of volunteering with St John: 

Aimee Worker, 15, has just been named District Cadet of the Year 2022 and says how St John has changed her: 

St John plays a massive role in my life. I’ve grown a lot in confidence, and you make a lot of new friends, so you learn new social skills. You learn a lot more of how to communicate with other people, especially when it comes to patient care. You learn how to deal with different ages of people. I’m usually very shy but since I came to St John’s, I get described as very bright and bubbly and loud, so there is a very big difference! 

Myles Welbourne, 15, has already used his first aid skill to help people:  

Last summer I was training with my cricket club and unfortunately one of our players was struck in the face by cricket ball. It led to four fractures down his lower cheekbone, and he was knocked unconscious for a few moments. When he came round, he was deeply concussed and I administered first aid. Being a cadet first aider has offered me the opportunity to learn how to deal with different scenarios and different people and improved my confidence. 

Youth leader Ann Smith, has just celebrated her 80th birthday and tells us why cadets hold a special place in her heart: 

I had breast cancer four years ago and the cadets here have been absolutely fantastic, they really have. They look after me when we go out on trips. Over the years, I’ve seen many of them go into careers in health and caring, like on ambulances or in nursing – they’ve even treated me in hospital. I love the cadets. 

Cadet Eva Dudding, 16 explains how it felt to play her part in the fight against Covid: 

I’ve been in cadets for about three years now and it’s my favourite thing to do in my spare time. During Covid I volunteered at the logistics headquarters. We got packages together for the people delivering the vaccines and those people being trained to vaccinate people.  

It felt nice to be volunteering at the heart of things going on. So, by actually creating the care packages I felt like I was making a difference. 

Chris Whitwood, 30, has been with St John since he was seven. This is why he loves being a youth leader: 

It’s the energy the enthusiasm that they have, the fact that all of these young people don’t have to come down here on a Monday night, they could be at home doing other things. But they choose to dedicate their time to being part of this organisation to helping others and helping themselves and helping other cadets grow as people. So, that’s great to see and be part of. 


New cadet Cain Lee, 11, has already helped give first aid at events such as Hull Fair. He credits joining St John with his ambition to be a paramedic: 

The training with cadets has helped me with my confidence a lot. I enjoy coming a lot because everyone is really friendly and when we get to do things it’s just really nice. It’s going to help me a lot with the things I want to do in my future life. If I hadn’t been at St John, I don’t think I would have thought of being a paramedic. 


Unit leader Amanda Whitwood sums up why she has dedicated nearly 20 years to St John: 

We see these kids coming in at age 10, 11, 12 and we see them develop and leaving us as young adults ready to face the world and anything it throws at them. The confidence they can gain through St John is fantastic, from working with peers to going on residentials and courses.  

The buzz we get from working with these young people – we feel privileged to be part of their lives and see them develop. It is a lot of hard work but we get so much more back.  


Published, 10 February 2022

We can't do this without your support

We rely on your support to continue to make an impact in communities. There are loads of ways you can get involved, from challenge events to live streaming.

Support us