‹ Blog Home

7 things I've learned as a St John Ambulance Student Volunteer

Posted on 23 Feb 2016

More and more students are getting involved in first aid and rescue volunteering. One of our Award finalists, Jo Devall, was a lifeboat crewman for the RNLI in Plymouth. But today we're hearing all about being a St John Ambulance volunteer from Emma Cooper, a student at the University of Leeds.

7 things I've learned as a St John Ambulance Student Volunteer

1) What I want to do with my life

Student volunteering has definitely contributed to my career path and has impacted on many of my friends too. I joined a St John Ambulance student volunteer group during my first degree and have since returned to university and started a nursing course.

2) Life hacks for the future

How to deal with stressful situations, work with and manage a team, teach and present to an audience and organise events. All things that are beyond useful and give you a lot more confidence in life and work.

3) That spending hours volunteering (and at the pub) together can make you very close as a team…maybe too close!

It's amazing what topics can come up 8 hours into conversations at events; from politics to bowel habits and everything in between. We trust each other completely and you definitely make some friends for life.

4) Never kneel in front of someone feeling nauseous

This is a crucial skill that, unfortunately, is only learnt through experience. Rule #1: keep on your toes!

5) Volunteering gets you into some great events!

Since being a volunteer I have done a huge variety of events, from local village fetes to national festivals. Highlights include Sports Personality of the Year After Party, England Rugby Training Session, Creamfields, V Festival, Tour de France Grand Depart… the list goes on.

6) How to acquire tea in any situation

Getting a good brew at chilly event is high on the list of priorities! It's important to send out tea scouts early and get in some good refreshments for the team if you're in charge. More seriously, a cup of tea and a chat is sometimes just what's needed to help someone feel better.

7) How to save a life

Most importantly, I have learned some first aid skills as a volunteer too!! I've progressed from nervous newbie to teaching skills with keen freshers. Our aim is to pass on vital knowledge to as many people as possible within our university society and the student community.

Emma with Danny Care from the England Rugby Team when her team was providing first aid at Headingley for an open session before the Six Nations

Emma Cooper

Emma is a student at the University of Leeds and a volunteer with St John Ambulance

Categories: Charities