Education & Family

Bear Grylls hails six-year-old hero scout who helped save a life

Henry Hersey Image copyright Scouts
Image caption Henry Hersey, now seven, helped rescue Sylvia Downer, 90, who was unable to move after a fall

A six-year-old scout who helped save a life has been hailed a hero by Chief Scout and TV adventurer Bear Grylls.

Just a week after passing his First Aid badge, Henry Hersey was on his way home from school with his father and younger sister, when he heard cries for help.

Between them, the family rescued 90-year-old Sylvia Downer who had fallen in her garden and was unable to move.

"It's amazing that someone so young kept calm and knew what to do in an emergency," said Mr Grylls.

'A real hero'

Henry, a member of the 3rd Ringwood Scout Group in Hampshire, immediately raised the alarm when he heard Mrs Downer calling as he walked past her garden in June this year.

He told his father Will someone needed help.

The family worked out where the shouting was coming from and found Mrs Downer, who had been lying on the ground for hours with a severe cut to her head.

Will called for an ambulance, leaving Henry and his sister Anna, five, to find a blanket and reassure her that help was on its way.

Henry, who is now seven, then stood outside the house to flag down the ambulance and help the paramedics find their way inside.

They later said they were impressed by the calm way he handled the situation.

"Henry is a real hero, I'm so proud of his actions," said Bear Grylls.

"Scouting has given him these skills and Sylvia is living proof of how important they are."

Image copyright Scouts
Image caption Henry receiving his award from Hampshire Scouts last month

Hampshire Scouts recognised Henry's actions at an award ceremony last month.

"My Mummy and Daddy are really proud of me, I'm so happy that I managed to help Sylvia and that she's feeling better.

"I really enjoyed getting my First Aid badge and learning how to help people who are hurt," said Henry.


Mrs Downer, who is recuperating in a nursing home, has also described Henry as a hero.

His sister is so impressed that she is planning to join the Scouts as soon as she turns six in September.

"At Scouts we teach young people skills for life and in this case they have saved a life," said David Evans, a volunteer at 3rd Ringwood Scouts.

"Scouts is about having an adventure and making an impact in our community."

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