A young teenager who rushed to help an injured boy after a freak accident at a skate park in Haverhill has received a special award.
Ellis Rudge was presented with a Commandant Suffolk Army Cadet Force Commendation during an awards ceremony at the Army Reserve centre in Ipswich on Tuesday.
His invitation to the Lord Lieutenant for Suffolk’s annual awards ceremony – which he received on January 25, his 13th birthday – came two weeks after he appeared on the front page of the Haverhill Echo.
Ellis, who learned first aid after joining the Haverhill Army Cadets four months earlier, put 10-year-old Mason West into the recovery position after he hit his head and passed out following a fall at the Howe Road Skate Park.
Mason suffered internal bruising to his skull and his mother, Melanie West, hailed Ellis a ‘hero’ for everything he did to prevent further injury.
Ellis’ award invitation, which was signed by Major K J Humphrey, of the Suffolk ACF County Headquarters, said: “The Haverhill Echo extract has been shown to our Commandant (Colonel GWR French TD VR) and he would like to express his thanks and admiration for a job well done.
“He is so impressed that he would like to award you his personal commendation.”
Two days after getting his awards invite, Ellis received another letter, this time from the House of Commons in which West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock wrote to tell him how ‘hugely impressed’ he was to read about him giving first aid to Mason.
Mr Hancock said: “The way you stayed calm and applied what you had learned in the cadets was remarkable and extraordinarily brave.”
“I wish you all the best for your future – I am sure that with the level head and quick thinking that you showed helping your friend you will go far, whether you are in the army, a paramedic, or something else entirely,” he added.
“I’m so proud,” said Ellis’ mother, Majella Wilson, who watched as Lady Euston presented his award.
“We watch Pride of Britain to make them realise how lucky they are and when you see that, to know my child did that, to a degree, I’m blown away by it all,” she added.
As a carer in a West Suffolk residential home, Mrs Wilson is fortunate enough to know first aid.
She believes teaching basic first aid skills should be compulsory in schools and is committed to raising the funds necessary to introduce courses locally.