Ripon student attends ceremony of a lifetime as Princess Anne honours over 1,700 volunteers ‘outstanding’ contributions
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Ella-Grace Foster, St John Ambulance’s District Cadet of the Year for North Yorkshire and Teesside, was one of only 32 in the country to be given such an award.
Miss Foster, 16, from Boroughbridge, was selected after taking part in a series of tough challenges involving first aid scenarios, presentations, interviews, and taking part in a debate.
She travelled to London for the Young Achievers Awards, where The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, congratulated young volunteers who have made outstanding contributions to the community, and spoke about how their actions positively impacted those around them.
Miss Foster said: "I felt very honoured and privileged to be able to meet and speak to Princess Anne, and it is something I will remember for the rest of my life.
"When Her Royal Highness was walking round everyone was very nervous but excited but as soon as we talked to her she really put us at ease.
"When I spoke to her I curtsied and shook her hand.
“Princess Anne asked me about why and when I joined St John Ambulance and about Ripon and said she remembered going to Ripon Cathedral and the racecourse."
More than 1,700 of young St John volunteers across the country have given over 48,500 hours of their time supporting communities by giving lifesaving first aid and care alongside adult volunteers.
St John Ambulance Chief Commissioner Ann Cable said she was delighted to welcome Princess Anne, Commandant-in-Chief - Youth of St John Ambulance, to the special event at the Priory Church in London.
“Our young people are incredible.
"We are tremendously proud of the achievements and their ongoing demonstration of kindness and compassion across the country.”
Miss Foster hopes to study medicine at university, and has a part-time job in a pharmacy and helps out at swimming lessons alongside her St John Ambulance volunteering.
“I joined the St John Ambulance because I think first aid is a very important skill to understand how to care for people in emergency situations.”