A SOUTHWICK volunteer who overcame adversity to learn and teach others first aid has met The Princess Royal at the St John Ambulance annual Young Achievers’ Reception.
Samantha Gates, 25, was among more than 80 young people invited to a reception at Buckingham Palace on March 19 to acknowledge their hard work and commitment to the charity.
Samantha was one of two people presented with the St John Ambulance Sovereign’s Award, which recognises outstanding work in the areas of personal development, benefit to St John Ambulance and benefit to the community.
Samantha was born severely brain damaged, resulting in learning disabilities, and suffers from epilepsy.
Despite her parents being told by doctors that she would not live beyond a year, Samantha has been volunteering for St John Ambulance in Southwick for 13 years.
Samantha said: “I’m extremely honoured and proud to have been given the award and to have been invited to meet The Princess Royal.
“It was really great to meet other young people in St John Ambulance too and share our experiences.”
Mum Brenda said: “We are very proud of our daughter as she has struggled with so much in her life and this is a massive achievement.”
Wendy Human, director of charitable initiatives and training at St John Ambulance said Samantha had been an asset to her local community all year round and fully deserved to be rewarded with the invitation.
Princess Ann is patron of St John Ambulance,