Cardiff’s young and upcoming lifesavers awarded by the St John Ambulance Cymru Cadet Awards

Sophie and Rhys with Liz Bragg, the County Youth Manager for Cardiff and the Vale.

Some amazing young lifesavers were awarded at the St John Ambulance Cymru Cadet of the Year Competition for Cardiff County at the end of 2022.

The St John Ambulance Cymru Cadets program runs for young people aged 11-17 and aims to teach young people the vital first aid skills they need to save lives. It also runs educational projects which aim to arm young people with new skills they can carry through their personal and professional lives.

The Cadet of the Year competition is not only a way to reward those individuals who are especially committed and hardworking, but also to bring the whole county together in celebration.

16-year-old Rhys Clissold from Radyr Division was the winner of the Cardiff and Vale competition. He said that he became a member of St John Ambulance Cymru seven years ago when he signed up to the Badger program. Rhys said he joined because he “wanted something to do out of school, but something out of the ordinary, something rewarding, something with a challenge, something I could give back to the community with, and something with an aspect of belonging, as one big family.”

He explained that as part of the competition candidates had to make a question and answer video, an interview in a relaxed, podcast -style setting. The Cadets also had to act out a first aid scenario and take part in a group communication task.

Rhys was thrilled with the result “I was certainly shocked, but of course very pleased” he said, “I felt happy knowing that my ability and knowledge had been noticed and rewarded with such an amazing award.”

Sophie Howe from Cowbridge Division was awarded with runner up. Sophie explained that she joined St John Ambulance Cymru because she “always wanted to be a doctor or a vet. I have always enjoyed helping people and doing something nice for others.”

“I was really happy and proud when they announced I was runner up, as St John Ambulance Cymru means an awful lot to me and I love being a part of our Division.”

Both Rhys and Sophie look forward to many more years giving back to their communities as part of the Cadets, and continue to develop their skills and make even more fun memories with their Divisions.

To find out more about the St John Ambulance Youth programs or to sign up to a Cadet group in the area visit or contact

Image caption:  Sophie and Rhys with Liz Bragg, the County Youth Manager for Cardiff and the Vale.