James - Student volunteer

Tell us a little about yourself…

I’m a student and proud St John Ambulance volunteer with Warwick LINKS, a St John Ambulance Unit based at the University of Warwick.

Why did you first get involved as a student volunteer?

I had just started my PhD and wanted to try something new. I saw how much enjoyment and satisfaction volunteering brought to one of my friends, so decided to go to a taster session. It was surprising how little I knew about first aid and was hooked from that point. I applied to become a volunteer the next week!

Any memories that stand out?

At a committee handover weekend, I decided to reverse my vehicle down the hill at Pen-Y-Garreg, and consequently got stuck – the entire committee were in hysterics. Eventually, some of them came out in the pouring rain to direct me to freedom!

Another big memory was walking out the tunnel to a full stadium at Aston Villa, that was a pretty epic feeling.

What do you like best about being a student volunteer?

The amount of support I’ve received from other students has been unbelievable. I have Cerebral Palsy, and this was a big fear when joining St John Ambulance. But since joining, there has never been an occasion where I have felt left out or unable to join in.

Sounds friendly…

It really is! Our Unit is like a family, and we make sure all our volunteers feel welcome and appreciated.

Everyone is approachable – so if anyone needs extra training, development or even just a friend, there’s always someone to listen and help out. It’s such a privilege to work alongside them.

What are your future plans with St John Ambulance?

I have recently become a District Events Officer, assisting with the planning and delivery of the events in Coventry and North Warwickshire. In this role, I get to give volunteers the opportunity to go out and experience the full range of events that we cover, in addition to making sure they are supported. 

My current long-term goal is to become an Event Manager within St John Ambulance, and I’m starting that process by getting my Treatment Centre Manager sign-off!

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SJA Medical Response Team volunteer overlooks crowds at British Summertime event