Twenty four inspirational youngsters from across the UK were delighted to be announced as medallists for this year’s British Citizen Youth Award (BCyA) in recognition of their extraordinary contribution to society, charities and good causes.

Acts of compassion

Sea Cadet Molly Fraser from Colchester was one of the children honoured for their incredible efforts at a formal presentation held at the Palace of Westminster.

Now in its second year, the BCyA, in association with Specsavers, seeks to highlight the many acts of bravery, kindness and compassion carried out by young people across the UK.

Incredible stories

Molly, who also plays under 15 Rugby for Essex, was alerted after her friend was found collapsed and lying unconscious at their local Rugby club. The first-aid trained teenager immediately assessed the situation and called an ambulance, giving them precise directions and information on the situation.

She checked and cleared her friends’ airways, clearing out the vomit that she was choking on before administering CPR and, when safe, placing her into the recovery position.

Paramedics arrived on the scene, astonished that a young person like Molly, though trained, was able to stay composed and calmly do what was needed to keep her friend safe.

Campaigning for change

Now campaigning for first aid training to be included in the school curriculum, Molly said: ‘If it wasn’t for Sea Cadets I wouldn’t have known what to do.

'They have taught me a range of skills from social skills – making friends and boosting my confidence, to academic and practical skills such as learning how to use communication and information systems in line with computer science that I’m studying at school.

‘I think it’s so important that first aid becomes a basic and compulsory skill. If everyone had that knowledge so many more lives could be saved. I never expected to need to use first aid but you never know when an emergency might happen.’

A word from the director

Nick Hagan, store director of Specsavers Colchester said: ‘As a partner of the BCyA, it is always uplifting to hear about the amazing and selfless acts performed by youngsters both within our community and across the UK.

All Colchester store information