A teenager from Maidenbower has been named as St John Ambulance Central District Cadet of the Year.
Oriel High School pupil Annabell Agate, 15, beat off stiff competition to scoop the title at a competition held in Redhill.
She will now represent fellow Cadets from across Surrey, north Hampshire and part of West Sussex in 2016 at public and St John Ambulance events.
In a competition designed to single out the district’s most outstanding St John Ambulance Cadet, Annabell had to complete a first aid challenge to demonstrate her life saving abilities, take part in a debate, as well as give a presentation and be interviewed by judges.
She said: “Being chosen as the Central District Cadet of the Year for 2016 is very exciting and I’m looking forward to representing my district and being a role model for other cadets too.
“Being a St John Ambulance Cadet means a lot to me – it’s helped increase my confidence, furthered by enthusiasm for first aid, and has also taught me a lot about communication, particularly with the general public. Whilst on duty our volunteers show such compassion to those they are treating and it’s amazing to witness the care they give to all who need it.”
The aspiring doctor joined the St John Ambulance’s Horley and Gatwick Cadet Unit two years ago and her life saving first aid skills have already been put into practice this year when she spotted a woman lying motionless at the side of the road in Crawley.
She inquired what happened by talking with bystanders and approached the casualty. After doing an initial assessment she found the lady was unconscious and unresponsive; she ensured someone had phoned for an ambulance and put the woman into the recovery position and again checked her vital signs. She continued to monitor the casualty until the paramedics arrived and gave them a brief on what had happened.
Annabell will now go on to compete for the title of overall South East Regional Cadet of the Year and National Cadet of the Year in April next year.
Annabell joined Jo Gardner, regional youth manager, said: “I hope Annabell enjoys the year in office and I am sure she will make the most of all of the opportunities offered and encourage more young people to learn the skills that can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.”
St John Ambulance Cadets learn first aid along with a wide range of other subjects such as leadership, radio communications and personal development.
For more information about St John Ambulance’s youth programme visit www.sja.org.uk