Cadets instructor is shortlisted for award
Berwick woman Natalie Spence has been shortlisted for the Youth Focus: North East Inspirational Young Person Award.
The award recognises young people who have delivered hope, encouragement, success or been a beacon to other people to strive to deliver excellence.
Despite suffering from a debilitating illness, Natalie is a volunteer adult instructor with Berwick’s Army Cadets.
Having spent time as a cadet, she wanted to give back to other young people some of the experiences and opportunities she’d had.
Natalie works tirelessly on community events and with cadets undertaking their Duke of Edinburgh Award. She recently took the lead in a regional military history competition for cadets – and saw her team win the title.
She has always had a passion for teaching first aid and since the loss of her father has increased her input into teaching the subject and is determined to teach all cadets CPR very early into their training.
Earlier this year, Natalie also became one of only 10 young people in the UK to be selected to form a campaign group for Youth Access, a national umbrella body for young people’s information and counselling services.
Sign up to our daily newsletter
Detachment Commander, Lt Debra Jerdan said: “I know how hard she has strived to succeed in everything she does. As a colleague, she is an invaluable part of the team. On behalf of the entire detachment, I wish her the best of luck for the finals.”
Natalie has made the final three and will attend the awards at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead on January 18.
Debra also highlighted the work Natalie is undertaking with her work on the mental health campaign.
“Her motivation to improve access to mental health services for young people is inspirational,” said Debra. “She has a determination to ensure that nobody slips through the net, and that any young person who has accessed support for mental health issues will not face discrimination as they move on in their lives.”
Natalie is also studying for a degree with Open University and is about to start training in the field of Public Relations.