South Yorkshire teenagers meet royalty

Rebecca Coupland meets HRH The Princess Royal
Rebecca Coupland meets HRH The Princess Royal
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Teenagers from South Yorkshire have been recognised for outstanding service to their communities by HRH The Princess Royal.

Thomas Heath, from Scawthorpe, Doncaster and Rebecca Coupland, of Nethergreen, Sheffield, met the princess at a reception hosted by St John Ambulance.

Rebecca Coupland meets HRH The Princess Royal

Rebecca Coupland meets HRH The Princess Royal

They were among more than 100 young people at the first aid charity’s annual Young Achievers event in London.

Thomas, aged 17, of the Doncaster Air Training Corps, used his first aid training to save a man who fell unconscious.

While putting him in the recovery position, Thomas saw the man’s airway was blocked by his tongue and moved it so the man could breathe.

The Balby Carr Community Academy student said: “I’m not a member of St John Ambulance but would advise anyone to gain basic first aid skills. It could mean life or death.”

Thomas’s commanding officer, pilot officer Adele Bradley, said: “Thomas is an excellent cadet whose effort in learning has helped in saving a gentleman’s life.

“It is also recognition of the hard work the cadets and staff on my squadron put in to ensure all cadets achieve the most they can during their air cadet career.”

Rebecca, 18, a volunteer with St John Ambulance’s Sheffield cadet unit, was recognized for her contribution to the charity.

She trains others, treats people at public events and Rebecca used her role as District Cadet of the Year to encourage more young people to join the charity.

The King Edward VII School student said: “The best thing about being part of St John Ambulance and helping others learn first aid is feeling like you are participating in the wider community.”

To find out more about St John Ambulance’s youth programme visit