Inspirational cadet up for YOPEY award

Alex Smith, who has been nominated for a YOPEY PNL-150107-163907003
Alex Smith, who has been nominated for a YOPEY PNL-150107-163907003

A senior army cadet who has helped at the scene of a road crash has marched into a competition that showcases the achievements of young people in Bedfordshire.

Alexander Smith has also been praised for the way that he helps pupils at his school, Samuel Whitbread Academy in Clifton.

Now all attention is on Alex as an entrant in Atlas Young People of the Year, or YOPEY.

Award sponsors include Atlas Converting Equipment of Kempston, Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service, Central Beds Council, and recruitment company Guidant Group.

Eighteen-year-old Alex was nominated by Lee Huckle, assistant head of the sixth form at the academy, for the way that he helps others.

Alex was a passenger in a car being driven by his mum when they came across a collision between two cars on the A600 at Wilstead junction. The accident had happened moments earlier and, with another person, Alex began directing traffic until police arrived and took over.

Alex then held one of the drivers who was out of his car while ambulance personnel did an assessment of the other driver. Under the direction of ambulance crew he then helped the other driver on to a stretcher and into an ambulance.

Mr Huckle said that over the last 18 months Alex had done a lot of one-to-one sessions helping three pupils with Asperger’s Syndrome or autism.

He had also helped another pupil who was suffering stress and anxiety.

Alex is also in charge of the technical side of drama and media at the school working closely with staff on productions, and does a similar role for his local drama group, The Wilstead Players.

He also used his first-aid skills to give some basic sessions to year nine pupils.

Away from school, Alex really stands out in the Chicksands detachment of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Army Cadet Force, where he has reached the rank of company sergeant major after five years.

He has achieved another honour – that of being Bedfordshire Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet, one of five cadets from different services that accompany Helen Nellis, the Queen’s representative in the county, on civic occasions.

Do you know somebody who deserves the title Young Person of the Year?

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