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Reach out and inspire with Christina!
We caught up with Christina from Save a Baby's Life about the amazing work she does...
Why did you get involved with Save a Baby’s life?
I thought it was interesting because we are teaching good skills to know, but I also thought to get out there and give someone the confidence to actually act in an emergency is interesting. I was involved last year as a trainer and this year I run the programme.
Students are trained in baby life support that’s what to do if a baby stops breathing, choking, or drowning then we go to different communities and teach parents, grandparents, and carers these skills. We go to areas in Bermondsey, Peckham, and Southwark.
Do you find it hard balancing volunteering with your studies?
Because I’m organising most of the sessions, it has been quite demanding. But last year, as a trainer, it was just a few hours to help out. For the volunteers taking part this year, it’s a couple of hours here and there when they can fit it in. Last year we had 15 students involved, and this year we have about 57. Also, last year we had only two sessions. But this year we’ve had 57. We’ve really expanded and it’s gone from one end of the spectrum to the other.
What skills or experiences do you think you have taken away from being involved?
Teaching and explaining. I obviously have the medical knowledge behind me, but I have to explain why you’re performing CPR on a baby and what unconscious means. These parents, they have no experience and no understanding, so you have to really break things down.
There’s also the confidence to stand up there and actually teach as well. I really enjoy it, when you see these parents, and they take it so seriously, some get upset because they’ve had past experiences, so you walk away thinking you may have helped someone.
How do you think volunteering, skills and the experience will help in terms of getting the job you want?
It’s definitely good for your CV, for students from all different areas, not just medicine. It’s good to learn teaching, sharing and presentations and we go through things step by step with about 20 parents in a room. It’s good to show you’ve been involved in something like that. It’s also a bit different to say you’ve been teaching CPR to parents.
Aside from helping others what has been the best thing about getting involved?
I’ve met loads of people from different courses that I probably wouldn’t come into contact with. You can tell these students all about your experiences and help them through it.
What is your best memory of volunteering?
I don’t think there’s one particular memory, but every session you come away and have different aspects where you’ve thought ‘that was a really good session’. You can tell you’ve made a difference to that person, they took it really seriously and that person is now really interested. I just feel like I’ve done something and made a bit of a difference.
Is there anything you’ve got out of your time volunteering which you did not expect?
I’ve gotten to understand a lot more about the communities in Southwark, Bermondsey, and Peckham and the support that they give to parents that I never realized was out there. So that was interesting to see what other opportunities are available. And how other organisations are helping parents and how we’re part of this group that’s able to give a bit of extra help and guidance.
What is your advice to someone who is interested in getting involved?
If it’s something that interests you, it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t have to do with your degree, go for it. It’s all about enjoying it and you don’t have to give loads and loads of hours, just a few here and there. And you find you can actually make a bit of a difference and meet and help new people.
Find out more about volunteering opportunities available at kclsu.org/volunteering and find out about Save a Baby's Life by checking out their listing page and getting in touch.