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Welney teenager is Norfolk's top St John Ambulance Cadet

A 15-year-old St John Ambulance volunteer from Welney has been named one of the to cadets in England.

Laila Nettleingham scooped the title of Norfolk’s 2023 District Cadet of the Year at a recent competition.

She will represent her fellow cadets in the county throughout 2023 at public and St John Ambulance events.

Lady Fiona Barttelot presents the shield to Laila Nettleingham, Norfolk District Cadet of The Year 2023
Lady Fiona Barttelot presents the shield to Laila Nettleingham, Norfolk District Cadet of The Year 2023

In a competition designed to single out the district’s most outstanding St John Ambulance Cadet, Laila had to complete a First Aid challenge to demonstrate her life saving abilities and take part in team building exercises as well as give a presentation and be interviewed by judges.

She will join several other cadets to compete for one of the Regional Cadet of the Year roles and to become the National Cadet of the Year at a weekend event in Nottinghamshire in February 2023.

Laila is currently in Year 11 at Neale-Wade Academy in March, and hopes to become a paramedic. She has volunteered at St John Ambulance’s cadet unit in Lynn for the past 15 months and, when she isn’t focusing on her school work, likes to attend First Aid duties at local football matches and at seasonal Christmas events.

She has used her First Aid in the past when she assisted a young boy who fell over during the period of hot weather and was not feeling well, in addition to helping her fellow pupils at school.

Calum Hardy, St John’s district youth officer in Norfolk, said: “Laila is a fantastic young individual who joined St John in September 2021. In that time she has excelled herself in fully embracing the organisation's mission and values.

"She has taken every opportunity possible to put herself out there to learn First Aid, to apply those skills when caring for the sick and the injured, and also to pass on that knowledge through delivering training sessions to her peers. I look forward to working alongside Laila during her year in office as District Cadet of the Year and I hope she makes a great success of the role during 2023.”

St John Ambulance’s Cadets are given great assistance in their training and development by youth leaders and youth helpers, and the charity is appealing for enthusiastic adults with a few hours to spare each month to volunteer in these roles in locations across Norfolk. As well as working with the Cadets (aged 10 to 17) and Badgers (aged five to 10), youth leaders and youth helpers can extend their own involvement with the charity by becoming First Aiders and going on event duties.

For details about becoming a St John Ambulance Cadet, visit www.sja.org.uk/get-involved/young-people/cadets-ages-10-17

Anyone interested in becoming a St John Ambulance youth leader or youth helper can contact Calum to arrange a discussion at NorthAngliaDYT@sja.org.uk

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