A 25-year-old St John Ambulance volunteer, who has been helping the charity since she was 13, is encouraging others to do the same.
Saricka March joined St John Ambulance when two volunteers came to do a talk at her Essex school. She has since moved to Eastbourne after studying at the University of Brighton and is a valuable member of the local branch.
Saricka spoke to the Herald about her experiences as a volunteer.
She said, “I decided to as I was interested in learning first aid, helping people and charity work.
“I soon learnt my first aid and really enjoyed attending the cadet unit and all the activities we did.
“I had the chance to go on courses to develop my leadership and training skills, and soon enough I was a sergeant.
“I got to the top rank of leading cadet at the age of 16 and was at the unit until 18.
“At 18 I joined the adult unit. We attend a weekly training night at our local unit to learn more skills and continue our development. First aid is always developing so it’s a great way to keep up to date.”
During her time in Essex, Saricka attended V Festival, Southend Airshow and Southend Football. Now in Eastbourne, she covers the tennis at Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park, Eastbourne Carnival and Airbourne.
Saricka said, “St John Ambulance is like a family, so everyone at Eastbourne took me in and made me feel welcome.
“I have had many roles within the organisation, many of which do not require you to have first aid skills.
“We are always looking for volunteers to help at the local Cadet and Badger units, our youth service, which is really rewarding as we are teaching a new generation of lifesavers.
“There are also fundraising volunteers, who can help save lives without ever picking up a first aid kit, but raising vital funds for us to treat members of the public as well as training people in first aid.
“Both are great opportunities to give back to the community and develop your own skills.”
Saricka is now the regional fundraising co-ordinator for St John Ambulance, and volunteers at Eastbourne Event Services Unit as the unit event lead, coordinating all the events we attend to provide first aider cover, including the International Tennis coming up in Eastbourne.
Saricka addded, “I enjoy doing first aid as I love helping people, especially at very stressful times and in times of need. It’s a great feeling to be able to help, and know that our skills could help save someone’s mum or son.
To volunteer visit www.sja.org.uk.
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