5 things I've learned from being part of St John Ambulance for
the last 10 years
It's Student Volunteering Week and Abi Davis, Unit Manager at
Keele University tells us what she loves about being a student
'What's St John Ambulance?' I remember asking my mum when
driving past the local headquarters when I was 11.
'Like Scouts but only first aid,' was her response. To me that
sounded great and I begged until she took me along to Cadets where
I found out that St John Ambulance is more than just first aid.
Here are five things I've learned in the last 10 years of being
part of St John Ambulance.
1. It's not
just first aid!
As a Cadet, I remember doing all
sorts of things: visiting fire stations, learning about the history
of the order and once my granddad bought a sheep along for an
animal awareness lesson. Now, I run my own unit at university and I
try to keep things really varied for our members too. Of course we
learn vital lifesaving skills , but we also run around the
university dressed as reindeers, practicing our radio
2. Volunteering is really exciting
'Quick, Sam Smith is coming on stage, I need someone to
volunteer to stand in the pit!' One of the better jobs I've been
asked to do for St John Ambulance! But even when you hear over the
radio that there's a casualty that needs your help, you get a rush
of adrenaline, you get to put your skills to use and when that
casualty leaves your care better than they arrived, there's no
3. It looks great on your CV
Every work place is grateful for first aiders, so St John
Ambulance really shines on a CV. It goes without saying that first
aid duties are excellent experience if you want to go into
healthcare, but what if you want to get into teaching? I regularly
make lesson plans and train fellow students every week (not to
mention the chance to work with children in badgers and cadets).
Want to go into management? Unit managers conduct interviews,
performance reviews and run teams just like managers of big
4. It fits in really
well around studies or work
Volunteering has that added flexibility. If I have lots of
deadlines approaching or exams around the corner, I can take it
easy and sign up for duties when they suit me. But when I'm off in
the summer and looking for things to do, there are always plenty of
events to keep me occupied!
5. It has boosted my confidence
If you told 11-year-old Abi that one day she would be crewing an
ambulance on a night shift at one of the busiest music festivals in
the country, I don't think she would've believed you. In fact, I
don't think I believe I could do it until I did and I enjoyed every
moment of it!
St John Ambulance has pushed the borders of my comfort zone and
shown me that I can do so much more than I thought I could. I hope
to take not only the skills that I've learned, but also the
confidence to use them with me, beyond my degree and into the
Want to see more?
Some of our student volunteers have been busy vlogging. Take a
look at our playlist on our St John Ambulance YouTube channel.
Student volunteer vlogs