The Princess Royal celebrates the Year of Youth with a visit to St John Northern Ireland

On Tuesday 5 July, The Princess Royal, Commandant-in-Chief (Youth), attended an event in Ballymena Showgrounds to celebrate the Year of Youth. At the event, she met with badgers, cadets, youth leaders and trustees from across St John in Northern Ireland. 

After being received and welcomed by the Lord Lieutenant for County Antrim, David McCorkell, the Knight Commander of the Commandery of Ards, The Princess Royal was introduced to a number of senior staff, including the High Sheriff of County Antrim John Lockett, the Mayor Alderman Noel Williams, Interim Chief Executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council Valerie Watts, the Chairman of St John Ambulance Northern Ireland Christopher Murdock, and Chief Executive Adrian Donaldson.

Northern Ireland

The Princess Royal was then escorted around various stands and groupings by our Regional Youth Adventure Lead Timothy Whittle and the Northern Ireland and Commanderies’ Cadet of the Year William Sommerville.

Northern Ireland

Our young people were able to display their first aid skills and gave various demonstrations, accompanied by briefings from our youth leaders on the work of our badgers, cadets, youth team volunteer programme and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. The Princess Royal presented eleven Grand Prior’s Awards to successful cadets and congratulated them on their achievements.

Northern Ireland

Following a speech to those on parade and the invited guests, The Princess Royal cut a cake to celebrate the Centenary of our youth movement, and then met with the trustees of St John Ambulance Northern Ireland, before having a private lunch and departing to her next engagement.

Northern Ireland

This was a major event in the history of St John Ambulance Northern Ireland and we are extremely proud that our Commander in Chief (Youth) was able to visit and share it with us.

Adrian Donaldson, Chef Executive St John Northern Ireland

St John Ambulance Northern Ireland continues to aim for more young people to be qualified in first aid, to be good role models, caring citizens and to be the next generation of health professionals through a number of programmes shaped by and for young people.

In 2022, St John celebrates the “Year of Youth” which marks the 100th anniversary of St John cadets, and 35 years of badgers.