St Andrew’s First Aid, Scotland’s dedicated first aid charity, is celebrating 65 years of The Cadets this month.

Aimed at young people aged between 11 and 15, The Cadets provide an opportunity to develop and learn life-saving skills from a young age, creating a grassroot understanding and level of confidence they can build on in later life.

The Cadets have seen more than 10,000 members pass through in the past 65 years, many of whom have gone on to volunteer with St Andrew’s First Aid in their adult lives.

Rodger McBride has been a volunteer with the Saltcoats division for over 50 years. He joined The Cadets aged eight.

He said “First Aid has always been a big part of my life, since watching my own father volunteer when I was a child. It was only natural that I would follow in his footsteps and St Andrew’s has been part of my family ever since.”
“It’s so important that children are taught first aid skills. It instils huge confidence in themselves and in their ability to intervene and help save lives at any given moment. Over the years we have seen so many young people come up through Cadets which is allowing us to continue our great work across the country.”

Stephanie MacLean, 18, joined the St Andrew’s First Aid Cadets 4 years ago, she said: “I joined the Cadets to learn first aid and help me on my mission to become an amazing primary school teacher. The skills I have learnt have not only set me up for my career, but I have made lifelong friends along the way.”

Stuart Callison, chief executive of St Andrew’s First Aid, said: “This milestone in the Cadets journey underpins the very real ability of young children to learn first aid skills. It also cements the continued appetite amongst this age range to know how to save a life. If all children in Scotland had the opportunity to be taught first aid and it was embedded in their early education, avoidable deaths could be dramatically reduced”
“Not only are first aid skills vital for the health of our nation, giving children such a valuable skill can set them apart for their future careers.”
“Over the past 65 years, St Andrew’s First Aid Cadets have been a major contributor to first aid in Scotland and we are delighted to be celebrating this anniversary”

Last month saw another of St Andrew’s First Aid’s group reach its own milestone. The Thistles, dedicated to children aged five to ten, celebrated its 30th anniversary. For the past three decades, volunteer group leaders have been combining fun activities with teaching lifesaving skills to this eager age group. The Thistles take part in a practical educational programme, working towards achieving their Super Thistle Award, which sees them choose from fifteen subjects and engage in weekly activities to reach their goal.

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