Our Volunteer Youth Leaders

Our volunteers describe the experience of being a youth leader for St John Cymru as positive, rewarding and fascinating.  They make a real difference to children and young people in the community. 

If you are interested in helping us inspire the next generation of lifesavers and you can spare a few hours a week, please register to become a volunteer youth leader with St John Cymru using our Get Involved page.

Take a look at what some of our current youth leaders think about the role.

Tracy Sankey-Jones

Cadet Leader of the Year 2019

Tracy has been a Cadet leader at our Deeside and Mold Division since 2015.  Her journey began one evening when there was a shortage of youth leaders at the division where she was in charge of fundraising. Tracy was asked if she could attend to help and she had such a good time, her involvement grew. She was hooked!

“I remember one 12-year-old joining us and being so quiet.  That same young woman, two years later, saved her brother’s life with the skills she had learnt at St John Cymru.”

“The best thing is watching young people develop in all manner of ways. I have Cadets who joined the unit as children and I have the absolute privilege of watching them grow into mature young adults.

Tracy has had several moments of unbelievable pride for the young people in her Cadet unit.  Last year, when discussing ways to help the local community, the Cadets suggested distributing Easter chocolates to the people who make a difference in the community.  They worked hard to put together and decorate over 300 bags of chocolates before visiting the local hospital, fire station, police station and ambulance station to say thank you to the staff of the emergency services. 

But the Cadets still wanted to do more! They made a further 120 bags of chocolates for the local food bank. 

I couldn’t have been prouder of them!

Tracy recommends becoming a St John Cymru youth leader for anyone who wants to make a difference.  She says it has also helped her in many ways, both inside and outside the organisation.  Her confidence has grown tremendously and she now believes in herself a lot more.

“If somebody had told me that I would be able to stand in front of a large group of teenagers, teach them first aid and win an award for that, I would have laughed! 

“But that’s the thing – St John Cymru can nurture you and give you the confidence that you never thought was inside you.”

Tracy is an inspirational youth leader and she would encourage more volunteers to take up this rewarding opportunity in their local community  Here are her top three reasons why somebody should become a St John youth leader:

To take on a new challenge! St John Cymru gives you the tools you need to build the best version of yourself.

To have fun! Being a youth leader is hard work, but it is fun and rewarding. Plus, the youth teams, regionally and nationally, are very supportive. No question is too big or too small!

To learn! I have learnt so much during my time as a Cadet leader – I haven’t just learnt first aid skills but life skills that are transferable to many things I do in my professional life.

Karl Parker

Young Adult of the Year 2019

Karl is a youth leader at St John Cymru, Wrexham. His role involves creating fun, interesting and informative sessions to help our Cadets reach their full potential.

After joining St John Cymru as a Cadet in 2013, Karl completed his Grand Prior Award in 2017.  He was promoted to Cadet Corporal and he became County Cadet of the Year in 2016.

When he became an adult volunteer, it was a natural progression for him to continue assisting with St John Cymru Youth.  Karl has always enjoyed training and seeing the younger Cadets grow in confidence.

“One of my first activities as a Cadet leader was taking part in a weekend trip to PGL.  Cadets were able to take part in activities such as canoeing and high ropes. These were thrilling activities which pushed the Cadets to their limits.

“My most memorable moment was when one Cadet was terrified to harness up and take the leap of faith but with a bit of time, support and encouragement she conquered her fears! Our group and the other school groups were cheering her on as she made the decision to jump.

“It’s an experience I know she will remember forever.  It’s nice to see that St John Cymru Youth isn’t just about first aid.  There’s so much more to get involved in!”

Karl thinks the best thing about being a youth leader is seeing young people from the community making friends and increasing their skills.  Here are Karl’s three reasons why being a volunteer youth leader for St John Cymru is so rewarding:

The sessions we deliver could potentially help one of the Cadets to save a life or get their dream job because they are confident they have the knowledge and experience to succeed.

You will gain so many transferable skills whilst helping young people to achieve them too.

Being a youth leader increases your own knowledge, confidence and leadership skills.

Why not find out more about the exciting opportunities we have available for our volunteer youth leaders. Please visit the other pages on our website for more details.

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