Georgina Knapman began her volunteering journey with St John Ambulance Cymru’s Llanelli Division. She is now a qualified doctor, working at St Thomas’ Hospital in London and volunteers with St John Ambulance in England as well as St John Ambulance Cymru. She has highlighted the role the Cadets played in developing her interest in medicine, along with improving her personal confidence.
Georgina had a brilliant time as a St John Ambulance Cymru Cadet and says it opened up a lot of great opportunities for her. “I really enjoyed first aid competitions. It was actually during the training for an international first aid competition when I first realised, I wanted to become a doctor. I found it so interesting to be able to manage really complex cases in a safe and supportive environment.”
The Cadets gave Georgina the experience with speaking to patients, taking observations, delivering handovers as well as with presentation and teaching skills. These skills came in handy during her degree, as she claims that a lot of knowledge transferred over to her first year in medical school.
As a Cadet, Georgina developed her teamworking and leadership skills, gaining qualifications in leadership and management. She claims these skills help her in her everyday job, ensuring all the ward jobs get done on time.
For Georgina, a memory which really stands out from her days as a Cadet is the Duke of Westminster competition. “I had the chance to meet Cadets from across the different forces and across the country. It pushed me to try new things, but I also got to showcase and improve lots of the skills I had already gained with St John Ambulance Cymru”. It was these fun activities and ongoing personal development which led Georgina to pursue volunteering as an adult. “I have continued volunteering because I love the opportunity to teach, treat and see amazing events.”
“I'd highly recommend St John Ambulance Cymru to anyone, but especially medical students. You really can build your confidence in practical skills, teaching and handovers, all in a supportive environment.”
Georgina benefitted from being around an array of individuals with different medical experience and career backgrounds. She also recognises that adult volunteers were always happy to help her out and offer advice when she was a Cadet. “I wouldn’t be where I am now without all the help from youth leaders, fellow Cadets and adult volunteers,” Georgina says.
Georgina is excited to pursue her career in medicine and continue with her volunteering journey at St John Ambulance Cymru. She is thankful for the huge role being a Cadet has played in her life so far.