The Cadet Legacy of David Gardner
For David Gardner from Newtown, Powys, his days with the Cadets have had long-lasting, positive effects on his life. Today, David works for Powys County Council and has volunteered with St John Ambulance Cymru in his spare time for over 55 years.
David says his highlights from his days as a Cadet were “meeting new people, learning new skills and making life-long friends”. He especially liked being part of a caring organisation, that taught him to help others.
“Being a Cadet gave me self-confidence along with the ability to care and help other people. It taught me leadership skills, teamwork, how to be thoughtful, kind and to treat other people in a way that I would like to be treated” David says.
Not only did he gain invaluable first aid skills, but the Cadets also showed David the importance of having compassion for others.
He recalls his time growing up at St John Ambulance Cymru events, spending time in the divisional ambulance and learning how to provide quality patient care. He competed in first aid competitions and connected with fellow Cadets from around Wales.
According to David, it was these experiences which inspired him to continue volunteering with the organisation into his adult years.
He is now the Assistant Chief Volunteer for North Wales Region and enjoys volunteering at different events across the country.
“I like to help people and pass on my knowledge and experiences that I have gained during my time volunteering” David says.
One of his most precious memories has been being a part of the Welsh contingent to provide first aid cover at the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1981.
“I was placed outside of St Paul's Cathedral and had a fantastic view of all the guests arriving, along with the bride and groom!” he recalls.
His dedication to volunteering also meant that in 2021, David was made a Knight of the Order of St John, something he is extremely proud of.
David’s volunteering journey began with the Cadets and taught him important skills and compassionate values, which he took with him into adult life. He is thankful for the wonderful memories he has made as both a Cadet and an adult volunteer.