BALLAKERMEEN High School student Breeshey Cowin is to travel to Wiltshire this month as the Isle of Man’s hope for the title of National St John Ambulance Cadet of the Year.
The 16-year-old, of Eleanora Drive, Douglas, will go head to head with other cadets (aged 10 to 18) from across the British Isles over a selection weekend from January 27-29.
And she will travel to the competition well prepared. Breeshey has completed the St John Ambulance Grand Prior award, the highest badge a cadet can receive, which is recognition for at least three years of sustained effort studying 24 different areas, from community work, firefighting and outdoor pursuits to using social media and providing first aid at events around the island. Picking up the award involved a trip to Buckingham Palace to attend a reception with HRH the Princess Royal in March 2011.
Breeshey, one of the Isle of Man’s Deputy Cadets of the Year and a member of Douglas Nursing Cadets, gets her chance at the Wiltshire competition as Cadet of the Year James Desmond is unable to attend. She said she was proud to be representing the youth of the Manx section of the charity.
‘It’s a great honour and I am delighted to be representing all the other cadets in the Isle of Man,’ Breeshey added. ‘I firmly believe that anyone, whatever age, can learn first aid and would like to see more young people like me learning the skills that can save a life. Research has found that each year up to 150,000 people die in situations where first aid could have given them a chance to live and that’s a frightening statistic.’
Dr Iain Kewley, St John Ambulance Isle of Man’s Commander, said: ‘Breeshey is a great example of a dedicated volunteer who truly believes in the difference that first aid can make to saving someone’s life.
‘She is a great advocate for St John Ambulance Isle of Man and is exactly the kind of person we are looking for to represent cadets in the county.’