Siblings receive top award from first aid charity

Two Southwick St John Ambulance cadets have been presented with Grand Prior Awards '“ the highest achievement possible for a young volunteer within the first aid charity.

Monday, 20th February 2017, 2:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th February 2017, 12:20 pm
Step brother and sister Brandon Salisbury, 18, and Karrie-Ann Knock, 17, who attend Southwick's St John Ambulance cadet group, have received Grand Prior Awards - the highest achievement possible for a young volunteer within the first aid charity.

Step brother and sister Brandon Salisbury, 18, and Karrie-Ann Knock, 17, who live in Worthing, received their awards after completing all the 24 required stages of the scheme.

St John Ambulance cadets (aged between 10 to 17) take part in an interactive weekly programme of training and activities. The cadets work towards the Grand Prior Award, which teaches life skills such as communication and team work in a fun environment.

They can choose from over 70 different subjects to complete their award, ranging from fire prevention and photography to sports and first aid.

Grand Prior Award recipient Karrie-Ann became a St John Ambulance volunteer eight years ago. She is currently studying applied sciences at Worthing College and hopes to pursue a medical career as a paediatric nurse.

Karrie-Ann said: “It feels amazing to have completed the Grand Prior Award, but I’ve also gained so much more from being a St John Ambulance cadet. It’s given me some great opportunities, such as taking part in the cadet leadership programme and summer camps and I feel these challenges have pushed me out of my comfort zone. This has been with support from new friends I’ve met from volunteering and other amazing people in the organisation. I’d really recommend it to other young people; it’s even helped to shape my future career choice.”

Her step brother Brandon is a sales assistant at Graham The Plumbers’ Merchant in Hove.

He joined St John Ambulance seven years ago and, along with Karrie-Ann, regularly volunteers to provide first aid cover at events such as Hickstead show jumping, football at the Amex Stadium, Lewes Bonfire celebrations, and the Virgin Money London Marathon.

He too would like to have a medical career, potentially as a paramedic in the future.

Brandon has recently turned 18 and has moved from the cadets to the Southwick adult unit.

His first aid knowledge and life saving skills have already proved useful outside of St John Ambulance.

Just before Christmas, during a holiday to Cornwall, Brandon was out shopping and spotted a toddler nearby who was crying loudly. The little boy, who was around three or four years old had banged his head, sustaining a deep cut which was bleeding badly. Brandon approached the boy and his mum, explaining he was a volunteer first aider with St John Ambulance. He bandaged the wound, and monitored the little boy’s condition until an ambulance arrived.

Brandon said: “Volunteering with St John Ambulance is really rewarding. I’ve learned so much from being a cadet – it’s given me the life saving skills and confidence to get out there and help people and I feel like I’m really able to make a difference to someone if they need first aid.”

Joan Foord, unit manager of Southwick Cadets, said: “Brandon and Karrie-Ann have worked extremely hard and shown their dedication to St John Ambulance. They thoroughly deserve the recognition that comes with the Grand Prior Award and we hope that their stories inspire more young people to learn first aid and get involved in our youth programme.”

For more information on St John Ambulance, including how to make a donation, volunteering opportunities, and details of training for the public, schools and businesses, visit www.sja.org.uk or call 08700 10 49 50.

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