Top cadet uses first aid skills to treat ill mum

Shannon Dean with St John Ambulance service national young people advisor Dave Christophers
Shannon Dean with St John Ambulance service national young people advisor Dave Christophers

A schoolgirl whose first aid skills have been put to the test looking after her ill mother has been named as the South-East’s top St John’s Ambulance cadet.

Shannon Dean, 15, was given the honour after triumphing at the national selection event at Sedgely Park Police Training Centre near Manchester.

The two-day competition saw 30 cadets from across the country take part in some tough tasks to win one of just eight regional roles.

Shannon, from Princes Risborough, who only joined as a cadet 18 months ago, will now represent St John Ambulance cadets in the region over the coming year.

Shannon, who attends Princes Risborough School said: “I’m shocked to have won the Regional Cadet of the Year as I’ve been surrounded this weekend by some truly inspirational young people.

“I’m so proud to have been chosen to represent my region.”

Shannon’s mother Julie suffers from multiple sclerosis, and Shannon’s first aid skills have been put to use a number of times when she has fallen.

She said: “The best thing about being a part of the cadets is being able to go out in the uniform with a huge feeling of pride.

“Not only can you say you were there to help those around you in many ways, but you also have a reassurance that you would be able to do everything you could if someone who was close to you was ever in a situation when they needed emergency first aid.”

Wendy Human, director of charitable initiatives and training for St John Ambulance said: ‘First aid is an important skill for people of all ages to learn.

“Young people like Shannon 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.

“Shannon 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 in the South East.”

St John Ambulance cadets are aged 10 to 17 and besides first aid they learn a range of other life skills as they work towards their Grand Prior award – the highest a cadet can achieve.

Subjects range from cookery and animal welfare to sports and photography.

Older cadets can put their first aid and other communication skills into practice by providing first aid to the public at events or teaching first aid to other young people and adults.

Designed to stretch the cadets abilities, the Cadet of the Year competition includes a wide range of subjects such as communication, team work, presentation, the media and social skills.