A science student from Newcastle College has been named District Cadet of the Year, in a special ceremony held at Buckingham Palace.

16-year-old Abby Camsell, currently in the first year of a Level 3 Applied Science course, was given the District Cadet of the Year Award from the Princess Royal at an event celebrating exceptional young volunteers. 

Abby, who aspires to become a paramedic in the future, has been volunteering with St John Ambulance since she was five years old and now teaches the younger cadets.  

As well as being named District Cadet of the Year, she was invited to the event in recognition of her bravery during a recent incident involving a member of the public. 

Abby explained: “I was on the Metro recently when a woman fell unconscious. I moved her to the ground, put her in the recovery position and took regular observations until the paramedics arrived. 

“Having been volunteering for so long, it was natural to me to help this woman, so it felt odd to receive the recognition at first, but it was lovely to be invited to the palace, and to meet fellow cadets and hear their stories.” 

Speaking about meeting the Princess Royal, Abby said: “She was so down to earth and actually seemed interested in what we had to say. She was really friendly and made us all feel completely at ease.” 

Science Curriculum Leader Trish Murray said: “Abby is a fantastic student. She has such a positive attitude and tries so hard. There are not a lot of teenagers who would give up so much of their spare time to volunteer as Abby does. She’s an inspiration, and I’m really proud of her.”