Royal recognition for Sussex cadet

The St John cadets outside Buckingham Palace.
The St John cadets outside Buckingham Palace.

A ST JOHN Ambulance cadet from Horsham was invited to Buckingham Palace to receive royal recognition.

Emin Akbay, 15, was invited to the royal palace on Wednesday March 28 to mark his completion of the Grand Prior Award, the highest accolade a St John Ambulance Cadet can achieve.

The pupil, from Horsham’s Forest School, met Princess Anne at the special reception for young people who have gained the Grand Prior Award and shown commitment to the first aid charity.

The Grand Prior programme requires a minimum of three years studying 24 different subjects, including first aid, communication and working in the community.

Emin said: “I never imagined I’d be able to meet the Princess Royal so it was a real honour to be selected to go to the palace.

“Being part of St John Ambulance means a great deal to me.

“It’s given me new skills, confidence and friends and it’s unlike any other youth organisation I’ve been involved with.

“It’s an organisation which enriches your life while enabling you to learn first aid and use it in the local community.”

The teenager joined the St John Ambulance Badgers (for volunteers aged five to ten) and has spent the last six years working towards his Grand Prior Award.

During this time, Emin has been called into action, using his first aid skills twice to help a fellow cadet and also a pupil at his school, who both collapsed.

Wendy Human, head of youth for St John Ambulance, said: “Emin has worked hard and shown his dedication to St John Ambulance.

“The palace reception was a perfect way to recognise his achievements.”

For more information about becoming a Cadet or supporting Sussex St John Ambulance, call 01273 371 500 or visit