What first prompted you to take on a volunteering role?
When I’d just turned 18 years old in 2001, a close friend of mine said he was going to join the local St John Ambulance (SJA) Chorley Jubilee Quad Division and invited me to join him. I originally joined to make more friends and build some self-confidence, as this was something I’d struggled with due to bullying all through high school and college. As I began volunteering my confidence grew, and it gave me a sense of satisfaction and pride. I firstly trained to be a Voluntary First Aider and provided support at public events. As time went on, I started to help train the SJA Cadet Units (Youth).
During the 14 years I was with SJA, as well as covering events and helping to deliver First Aid training to people, I also helped to train Youth First Aid Teams who won the St John Ambulance National Youth First Aid Championship several times. I also helped setup an adult team, to which we became County of Lancashire Champions in 2009 and 2010. After this, I became the Interim Youth Unit Manager for the Cadet unit in 2012/13. Sadly, the unit was closed in January 2015.
A few months later, I joined the Chorley’s Angels Community First Aid, a group setup by friends I’d made at SJA, and continued my development as a Voluntary First Aider. In my seven years there, I have been given the chance to develop my skills and I’m currently working to get my Education and Training Level 3 qualification. I’ve also become the ICT officer!
Since joining SJA in November 2001, I’ve never looked back!