Since the early 1880s, competitions have been used by St John Ambulance to encourage the maintenance of its members’ skills, ensuring that Cadets and adults can perform exemplary First Aid in pressurised environments. Whilst many First Aid techniques have changed over the past century, the format of competitions is little altered from the first recorded event held by George Hutton in 1880. Working alone or in teams, Cadets are often faced with an accident simulated by casualties and are awarded points for First Aid technique and communication against strict score sheets. Cadets may compete to become their Regional Cadet of the Year, as well as participating in inter-region competitions to become National Cadet of the Year. Every four years, St John Ambulance Cadets from England can even compete globally at the St John International First Aid Competition.
Trophies, medals and certificates are awarded to Cadets for success in competitions including First Aid, Public Speaking and Teamwork.
From the collection:
The American Cup for Gallantry
The American Cup for Gallantry is one of the most prestigious awards ever presented to St John Cadets. It was awarded annually after the Second World War for the most outstanding act of courage exhibited by a Cadet in the UK. The cup was first presented by the 8th US Army Air Force in 1944 in thanks for hospitality given to US troops stationed in England by St John Ambulance Nursing Cadets from Great Barford. The Cadets visited the hospital at the base every weekend taking eggs, fruit, flowers, magazines and books, as well as home-made cakes and cooking. This partnership came about through the work of the novelist Barbara Cartland who volunteered with St John Ambulance Brigade during the Second World War.
See Alan J. Sharkey, Barbara Cartland and the American Cup for Gallantry, Whittlesey, 2021.
North Area Warwickshire Bedmaking Competition Trophy
Cadets have always taken part in many competitions, both locally and nationally. These have included providing efficient First Aid treatment and accurately diagnosing patients, as well as having a pristine uniform and even being proficient in bedmaking! They are highly competitive but a great way for Cadets to showcase their skills.