Volunteer Stories

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Mia's Volunteer Journey

When I first began 5th year in St. Colm’s High School Draperstown, it became the time where I had to decide what career I would like to do in the future. Luckily, I had an idea that I was interested in working within the Health and Social Care Sector. It was really difficult in deciding what volunteer work I could start off with first due to not being 18 and being at full time education and working part time which meant the only day I was free was a Sunday.

I started researching jobs and one that attracted me was Paediatric Nursing at the time. I was focusing on the right exams and decided that I should be volunteering in a Pre School to get experience with young children and although Children’s Nursing is very competitive it was really important that I stuck at it, which I did although I then realised that I didn’t want to be working with just children. I started volunteering for Barnardo’s as a Befriender. This means I took children on day trips and made friendships with them to those that where socially isolated and had no friends or may have a foster family in which they can’t settle into. This made a positive change in the lives of the children but also it developed my communication and listening skills which are very important in life.

Later life went on and I turned 17. I started rethinking my career and decided to go for Social Work. To be honest I didn’t really know much about Social Work and applied for it in Magee due to it being close to home (handiness) whereas Children’s Nursing you had to go to Belfast or England and I wasn’t really much of a stay away from home bird. I volunteered for Childline and I am proud I volunteered for Childline because I was there for children who were scared or frightened and needed help. This gave me an idea that I wanted to help them by safeguarding them and keeping them safe which is what a Social Worker would do. I got shortlisted for Social Work but unfortunately, I wasn’t interested in that career anymore.

Finally, my last option was Paramedicine. Paramedicine had caught my eye in the very beginning but going over abroad put me off the career. Once I got that bit older (17/18) I decided that I would love to go over to Liverpool to study it. I love working in stressful and challenging jobs. I would love to be able to get on placement with the Doctors and the surgeons.  I love seeing the trauma and emergencies people have e.g., broken bones, cuts and injuries etc.  Every time I seen an Ambulance at a festival etc I always try to get up to the scene just to get a nosy because I want to be the one doing what roles a Paramedic would do in a couple of years’ time. I want to be the one wearing an Ambulance uniform helping people in their most desperate time of need. When I was younger, I ordered a First Aid kit so I could mess about with it and practice it on my sister. I always watch “inside an ambulance” on YouTube more than anything else. I started volunteering a St. John’s Ambulance in Castlederg and learnt the basic first aid although I didn’t get out to the events due to me being underage. After all the experience I’ve went through from working with the young to the old generation I’ve now 1 step to go after 5 years of voluntary work to become a Paramedic. The only step I have to take now is an excessive amount of experience in a nursing home.  I am now 18 years old and am settled down on this career and am applying for it in September for September 2021 intake.

All the voluntary work I’ve did from my BTEC course at SWC being in Altnagelvin Hospital, primary schools, nursing homes and everything outside of school has all come together to help me get Paramedicine.

If there is anyone else that was me or in the same boat going back and forward to different jobs, your voluntary work will all come together and you will get in to university no matter what you do. It is important like me that I’ve left my options open as there are a variety of jobs in the Health and Social Care Sector to choose from.

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