Trio of first aiders gets St John titles

From left: John Wright, Abigail Betsworth and Poppy Shallis SUS-151002-083822001
From left: John Wright, Abigail Betsworth and Poppy Shallis SUS-151002-083822001

A TRIO of first aiders has been recognised for its dedication.

The three St John Ambulance volunteers from around Bognor Regis span the generations and are united in their work for the organisation.

From left: John Wright, Abigail Betsworth and Poppy Shallis SUS-151002-083822001

From left: John Wright, Abigail Betsworth and Poppy Shallis SUS-151002-083822001

Abigail Betsworth, eight, from Barnham, has become St John Ambulance district Badger of the year 2015. She was one of six Badgers in Sussex to be nominated.

The selection process involved a number of scenarios, including performing first aid and team work.

Barnham Primary School pupil Abigail said: “I was very surprised to win district Badger of the year. I’m very excited about it and looking forward to helping show people what St John Ambulance Badgers is about.”

In the Cadet category, Bognor 15-year-old Poppy Shallis scooped the coveted title of district Cadet of the year. She overcame her rivals at a full day assessment in Brighton.

Poppy had to complete a first aid challenge to show her life-saving abilities, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, take part in a debate, give a presentation and be interviewed.

Poppy, who attends Felpham Community College, said: “I’m looking forward to the year ahead and the opportunities it will bring. I am working toward a future career as a Royal Navy medical officer and my involvement with St John Ambulance will certainly help that.

“I strongly believe basic first aid is a vital skill that all people, young and old, should have and St John Ambulance is a great and fun way to learn it.”

A volunteer for 67 years, John Wright, 85, from Yapton, has been promoted to Commander with the Order of St John.

He is the area president, a youth leader with the Bognor Cadets and is passionate about passing on his lifesaving skills.

John said: “I feel honoured to be recognised in this way. I would encourage as many people as possible to learn first aid so they too can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.”