St John Ambulance is to open a new cadet unit in Huntingdon on Wednesday (January 9).

Cadets are the charity's volunteers, aged between 10 and 17, who are taught first aid and a number of other important life skills at a regular weekly meeting.

They work towards their Grand Prior Award, which is the culmination of a programme of study covering 24 subjects, and, the older cadets are given the opportunity to go on duty with adult volunteers, delivering first aid to people when they need assistance in the community and at events.

The first meeting of the new Huntingdon cadet unit will take place from 6.30-8.30pm at the St John Ambulance headquarters in Mayfield Road, Huntingdon.

All young people interested in volunteering are invited to attend with their families to find out more about what it means to be a cadet. Existing Cambridgeshire cadets will be present to talk about their experiences, and there will be some first aid demonstrations laid on during the evening.

Ant Kitchener, St John Ambulance's district youth lead in Cambridgeshire, said: "We're looking forward to welcoming local families to our open event and to signing up some young people to begin their volunteering career with the charity. Our existing cadets tell us that they get so much out of their time volunteering and not only do they learn new and useful skills but they also develop life-long friendships.

"Many of them stay on at the age of 18 to become adult volunteers and, thanks to the first aid and life saving skills that they learn, many cadets see their time with us as ideal preparation for university study or professional work in the healthcare and medical sectors."

Families will be welcome to attend on the evening but any with questions can call Mr Kitchener on 07976 212054 or e-mail anthony.kitchener@sja.org.uk.