Caring teenager named Suffolk Cadet of the Year

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A caring teenager from Ipswich has been named the St John Ambulance (SJA) Suffolk cadet of the year.

16 year old Ellie-Mae Banks received the accolade at an awards do, and will now use her title to represent all volunteers in the county at a national level throughout 2020.

Miss Banks entered herself into a competition in order to win this prize. The One student then had to do a presentation to senior SJA figures where she set out her vision for change before receiving the top prize in front of family members and fellow cadets.

Since winning the award, she is determined to use her voice for change having been inspired by the likes of the environmental tour de force, Greta Thunberg.

Miss Banks, said, “She (Greta Thunberg) inspires me. Since winning this award I’d like to use my voice to make a positive difference in the world.”

Being Suffolk cadet of the year means attending events up and down the country and working and setting up new branches (or units as they are called) in and around the county. (A new ‘unit’ has just been launched in Newmarket for example).

Long term, the talented teenager aims to be a force for good in her career.

She continued, “After sixth form, I want to go to university and then do a PhD in chemotherapy and help people with cancer.”

And on winning the award, she added, “It’s an honour to receive this award from the leading first aid charity in England. I started getting involved with SJA after completing my Duke of Edinburgh award and it has given me so much confidence. It (SJA) is a great organisation and I’d highly recommend that others consider getting involved. It can really help change your life for the better.

Anna Bird is a student services co-ordinator at One. She said, “Ellie is such a great student and we are incredibly proud of her. She is a real force of goodness and we have no doubt that she will use this award to do great things for others in the future.”