First aid honour for Tom

Tom Wilkes meets HRH Princess Anne
Tom Wilkes meets HRH Princess Anne
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A WIGAN teenager has reached the finals of a prestigious national award.

Tom Wilkes, a pupil at St Edmund Arrowsmith High School, in Ashton, has been put forward for the Everyday Heroes finals organised annually by the St John Ambulance Brigade.

Hosted by Strictly TV presenter Tess Daly the ceremony will take place in London next month, where the chosen finalists will be up for a variety of awards, recognising the individuals who have used first aid to save a life and the businesses that have championed the cause, helping to create more first-aiders in local communities.

Tom, 16, the son of Bryn councillor Gary Wilkes and his wife Adele, is one of eight members nominated for the St John Ambulance Volunteer of the Year Award and will represent the North West.

He has already been named Greater Manchester and Regional cadet of the year and was presented to Princess Anne last year.

Other nominees include Joanna Griffin, who gave life-saving CPR to her husband, while at his own father’s funeral and Andy Cave, a father whose swift reactions saved his three-year-old daughter’s life when she choked on a coin at home.

Cadet Tom has been nominated because of his role as a peer educator with the organisation and youth leader.

Despite his youth he has trained over 600 young people in life-saving first aid through his enthusiasm for projects such as the 90 for 90 challenge and Save a Life September.

Outside of his role as a volunteer, Tom has also put his first aid skills into practise, performing Cardio Pulmanary Resuscitation on a member of the public who had collapsed at the Piccadilly Station.

He now hopes to train towards becoming a qualified paramedic after completing his A levels.

Tom is these days a St John’s regular at Latics and Warriors games at the DW Stadium and Manchester City FC’s Ethihad on match days, as well as providing safety cover at the various Manchester marathons and cultural festivals.

Chief executive of St John Ambulance Sue Killen said: “This year’s finalists have some truly remarkable stories to tell.”