A SCHOOLGIRL who volunteers as a first aider has been named as St John Ambulance’s National Cadet of the Year.
Sixteen-year-old Sophy Ansell outshone 40 other cadets from across the country in tasks such as life-saving first aid skills, initiative under pressure and leadership.
The youngster, from Warsash near Fareham, who had already been named Hampshire’s Cadet of the Year, is now set to become St John Ambulance’s ambassador for 2011.
She said: ‘I really enjoy being a member of St John Ambulance as there are so many exciting opportunities available for young people.
‘We have a great time learning vital skills such as first aid so that we can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.’
Sophy’s mum Lindsey added: ‘We are delighted that Sophy’s hard work and diligence has paid off and we are very pleased for her.’
Sophy joined St John Ambulance three years ago and is hoping for a career as a children’s doctor.
The year 11 student from Wykeham House, Fareham, is part of the charity’s newest youth group in Hampshire and only one of two school-based St John Ambulance groups in the country.
As National Cadet of the Year, Sophy will now act as an ambassador for all cadets, demonstrating that even at a young age they can learn valuable life and leadership skills.
She will also get to represent the organisation at a range of events, including charity balls, award ceremonies and competitions.
Daryl Perkins, chief youth office at St John Ambulance, said: ‘First aid is an important skill for people of all ages to learn. Young people, like Sophy, are great advocates of this message.
‘Sophy demonstrated tremendous dedication and enthusiasm over the course of the competition and we are delighted that she is representing young people who learn first aid, throughout the country.’