St John Ambulance volunteer named one of country's best

Grace Ellis, St John Ambulance cadet

Grace Ellis, from Beccles, was named as Suffolk's cadet of the year and represented the county at the St John Ambulance nation finals. - Credit: St John Ambulance

A 16-year-old St John Ambulance volunteer was recognised as one of the best in the country after a nationwide challenge.

Grace Ellis, who lives in Beccles and is a cadet with the Bungay St John Ambulance unit, was competing for the title of National Cadet of the Year after being crown Suffolk champion.

The teenager was competing against 27 other cadets over three days in Nottinghamshire in the first of a series of events to celebrate St John's Year of Youth.

They were tasked with a rigorous set of challenges aimed at testing their communication, teamwork, presentation and first aid skills, all assessed by a panel of judges including chief commissioner Ann Cable and chief executive Martin Houghton-Brown.

Although Grace didn't secure one of the top places, she was recognised and commended for the achievement of reaching the high standard required to make it to the national finals.

The teenager, who is currently studying biology, chemistry and maths at East Norfolk Sixth Form College, said: "It was wonderful to meet all of the other district cadets and create friendships that will last a lifetime.

"I can't wait to work with them all.

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"I'm incredibly grateful to have this position during the Year of Youth and the anniversary celebrating 100 years of Cadets.

"Hopefully we can put on many enjoyable events.

"I would encourage any and everyone to get involved in St John Ambulance to widen their knowledge of first aid and especially to consider becoming a youth leader with St John."

She will continue to represent her fellow cadets in Suffolk throughout 2022 at public and St John Ambulance events.

Caroline Aldous, unit manager for St John Ambulance in Bungay, said: "We were really pleased that Grace made it to the national finals, particularly as she was competing against cadets from much larger towns and cities from across the country.

"She is an inspiration to young people and I hope her success will encourage other young people to join us at our brand new meeting place, the community centre in Bungay."