A TEENAGER who is aspiring to become a doctor has been named the St John Ambulance Cadet of the Year for Hampshire.
Sophy Ansell, from Warsash, is now in the running to take the national title and is involved in a tough selection programme which takes place this weekend.
Sophy, 16, became a cadet three years ago and is the only student first-aider in her year at school.
She is studying her GCSEs at Wykeham House School in Fareham and dreams of becoming a doctor.
Sophy has already used her skills to treat a friend’s broken fingers and to look after another friend who had an asthma attack during a climb up Butser Hill.
Sophy said: ‘National Cadet of the Year involves a lot of activities over the weekend, including a first aid test – and it’s all very exciting.
‘It’s really good for my CV because I want to go into medicine and hopefully become a paediatric consultant, which would involve my love of children and my love of medicine as well.
‘It gives you a lot of skills that you wouldn’t necessarily know otherwise and you can use them in so many different places.’
Research has found that each year up to 150,000 people die in situations where first aid could have given them a chance to live.
St John Ambulance can teach people how to save lives, but being a member also helps develop leadership and other skills that can be used in everyday life.
Pat Bethel, head of youth for St John Ambulance Hampshire, said: ‘Sophy is a great example of a dedicated volunteer who truly believes in the difference that first aid can make to saving someone’s life.
‘She is exactly the kind of person we are looking for to lead cadets in the county.
‘I am sure she will have a fantastic year and really make the most of all the opportunities.’
Jan Caddy, deputy headteacher of Wykeham House School, said: ‘It’s amazing, she has done brilliantly. She’s very confident and she’s very good with the younger members as well.
‘We are really proud of her. She’s very hard-working and she contributes so much to the school.
‘She will definitely be able to achieve her goals.’
The National Cadet of the Year competition takes place in Wiltshire.
Cadets from across the country will battle it out to win the overall award.