One of our Cadets has received national recognition for her selflessness and generosity, after winning an award on a popular children’s TV programme.
Seren Ward, 14, pipped two other finalists to win the Big Heart award during the special episode of CBBC’s Operation Ouch!
Prizes are given to those who’ve “done something selfless such as caring for a relative, raising money or awareness, or campaigning for charity.”
A Cadet with our division in Treharris, Seren was nominated for the award after caring for her mother, who was left experiencing epileptic seizures following an accident at home.
Kath Ward, 34, who also volunteers with us, fell out the attic at the home she shares with Seren and brother Jay, 10 in 2017. The incident triggered seizures which Kath still lives with to this day.
Since Kath’s fall, Seren has gone above and beyond, caring for her mother and carrying out household chores including cooking and cleaning.
On top of supporting her mother, Seren takes care of her grandfather, Barrie (60) who’s in a wheelchair, and grandmother, Deborah (58) who’s living with heart and stage 3 kidney failure.
She’s also put her first aid skills into practice, rushing to Kath’s aid during a particularly severe seizure in which she broke a bone in her neck, making sure she had lots of room and calling 999.
She even assisted the paramedics when they arrived, helping move Kath on to a spinal board and attaching a neck brace.
“Seren’s been absolutely amazing. It took longer than usual for me to see a specialist at hospital after my initial accident, and my seizures got worse while I was waiting. But she stepped up to make sure her brother and I were looked after and the housework was done when I’ve been too ill to do it myself.
I’m so proud of her – how many girls of her age could do what she did? And to give first aid to her own mother! She deserves all the recognition in the world.”
On top of taking care of things at home, Seren’s made it her mission to raise awareness about her mother’s condition.
She’s prepared a presentation on epilepsy and how people can help look after family members who regularly experience seizures, which she’s delivered to both her fellow Cadets and adult volunteers.
Seren was nominated for her award by her Cadet Leader, Daniel Stone.
“I nominated Seren purely because she does so much for her family.
Everyone at St John Ambulance Cymru is so proud of her, she’s truly an inspiration.
It’s wonderful to see that the skills and confidence she’s gained attending sessions with us has empowered her to step in and help in really difficult circumstances.
Seren wants to be a midwife when she’s older, and she’s already demonstrating the key attributes needed to enjoy successful in a career in healthcare.”
St John Ambulance Cymru Treharris Cadet Leader, Daniel Stone
Operation Ouch! is a children’s comedy programme focusing on the human body and medicine. Hosted by Dr Ronx and twin brothers and doctors Chris and Xand van Tulleken, the show’s been on air since 2012.
Since 2019, each series has ended with a special awards show, which recognises 6-16 year olds who’ve gone the extra mile across four categories.
Catch up with Seren's episode on the BBC iPlayer.