Taking their skills to help others - The Evesham Observer

Taking their skills to help others

Rob George 19th Jun, 2019   0

YOUNG paramedics will use their healthcare expertise to volunteer at a refugee camp on the French coast this summer as part of an idea spearheaded by a Pershore student.

Grace Millington, of Drakes Broughton, will spend five days in early August volunteering at a camp in Calais with FAST (First Aid Support Team), an organisation made up of health professionals working across Calais and Dunkirk.

The 24-year-old will be joined by three fellow student paramedics Lucy Foulkes, Casey Jane and Georgia Poulton for the trip and the group has embarked on a fund-raising drive for medical supplies to take with them along with donated clothes and toiletries from kind-hearted residents.

Grace was inspired to help following a talk given at the University by a charity worker and encouraged her fellow students to get involved.

“It’s a chance to use our skills to help people. Places like these need more help and we don’t realise how lucky we are,” she said.

“I thought it would be good to go over there and help out and also experience it and see what’s happening over there for ourselves. It’s also going to expand on our skills as paramedics.”

The aspiring paramedic revealed the ‘eye-opening’ experience had led her to look at working in refugee camps after she qualifies.

“It was just the fact that these people were forced from their homes. They had no choice. If they had stayed they wouldn’t have survived so they risked their lives to come somewhere else,” she said.

“I was very surprised. It was moving to see that there were lots of people living in these conditions, which were appalling, but still better than where they were living before. That’s quite sad.”

While at the camp the students will be offering first aid, bandaging, basic assessment and working with voluntary doctors. They will also help run the camp foodbank.

The students hope to give talks to other students about their experiences on their return and even make a documentary while out there.

“We’re working with a medical team so we can learn from the doctors which is good experience,” added Grace.

“It’s going to be a challenge, particularly seeing women and children in these camps.

“It’s also going to be difficult to communicate, but it’s going to be good to learn how to overcome these communication barriers.”

The students are asking the public to sponsor their efforts or donate unwanted items, such as clothing, blankets, toothbrushes, toothpaste, plasters and toiletries.

There are two drop-off places to donate items; a box at the Hangar building at Worcester Students’ Union and another at the haematology ward (Laurel 3) at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/grace-millington-1 for more.


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