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16-year-old joins frontline battle against Covid-19 to 'give something back' after major operation

Aiden Daniel, 16, has volunteered to be a health care support worker during the pandemic. Credit: RCFA

A 16-year-old cadet sergeant will join the frontline battle against coronavirus after starting his training to become a healthcare support worker in Swansea.

Aiden Daniel, from Seven Sisters near Neath, had been expecting to continue his studies at Afan College this year but the pandemic meant that his progress was put on hold.

It was then that Aiden decided that he wanted to dedicate his time to caring for others and applied for his new role online through the Swansea Bay University Health Board.

Aiden said he had wanted to do something to give back to the health service after he was looked after so well by staff when he underwent a major operation at the age of nine.

I’ve always wanted to work as a physiotherapist because I had a big operation at the age of nine where I spent six weeks in hospital, and I admired all the staff there who looked after me.

– Aiden Daniel

"I decided to apply for the role of HCSW as I really enjoyed the placement I had in a hospital through the Army RCN Nursing Cadets Scheme," the Dyfed and Glamorgan ACF Cadet said.

"I’ve always wanted to give back in any way I could.”

Aiden will shortly begin training at either Neath Port Talbot or Morriston Hospital and his mum Linda has expressed her pride in her son's decision.

"I am very proud of Aiden, although I didn’t expect to be sending my 16-year-old out to work in a pandemic," she said.

Coronavirus patient Danny Egan clapping staff after leaving Morriston Hospital where Aiden could undergo his training. Credit: Swansea Bay University Health Board.

The RCN Prince of Wales Nursing Cadet Scheme gives young members of uniformed organisations an introduction to potential careers in nursing.

Aiden also received praise from Professor Donna Mead OBE, who was voted as one of the most influential nurses in the last 70 years.

"It is rewarding to see young students like Aiden wanting to get involved. He is an incredible young man and I have no doubt has a very bright future within the health sector," she said.