Alexandra is the Deputy Team Leader and Impact Specialist of the StreetDoctors society, part of a national charity that changes the lives of high risk young people by giving them the skills they need to deliver life-saving first aid.
What does the work of the StreetDoctors entail?
StreetDoctors works in 16 cities across England, Scotland and Wales to teach life-saving skills to young people aged 11-18. We have taught 11,000 young people to date. In our sessions we teach how to deliver simple first aid to someone who is unconscious and someone who has been stabbed, which is especially important in the current climate in South London. We highlight the impact that being stabbed can have, not only in terms of bleeding out but also the long term effects and through this hope to make young people think twice about carrying weapons.
What is your role within the project and what does this involve?
I am the Deputy Team Leader and an Impact specialist. As the deputy TL I am in charge of liaising with HQ, who help us to set up sessions with delivery partners so we are able to reach as many young people as possible. I also work with the other volunteers to discuss any problems they may be having. As one of our impact specialists my main role is to measure the impact we are having and ensure we are targeting the right people who will get the most benefit from our sessions.
What do you enjoy about volunteering with Street Doctors?
I really enjoy working with the young people as they are often really enthusiastic. Talking to them after we have delivered the bleeding session in particular is really uplifting as they often explain how much they have learnt. It can also be difficult to hear how some of the young people wish they had known the life-saving skills already, so they could have been able to help their friends when involved in incidences before.
What’s been your favourite memory of volunteering?
My favourite memory is when a young person who had not spoken at all during the big group discussion, was able to talk me through and demonstrate exactly what we had taught them, and was able to explain why we teach them to do every step. After the session, the staff member informed us that the young person rarely participated in events, and that this was the most they had ever contributed to a session.
What have you learnt from your time volunteering?
I have learnt how to be more organised, as a key part of what I do in StreetDoctors is talking with delivery partners and volunteers to create sessions and ensure they are filled. I have also learnt how difficult it can be to make sure that everyone is on the same page and therefore how important good and consistent communication is.
What would you say to anyone thinking of taking part in volunteering?
It is really enjoyable to do volunteering especially in StreetDoctors as we work in a lot of different places with a variety of different people, and it is never boring. It can be daunting to think about talking to a group of teenagers who don’t want to be there, for an hour, but it’s a very interactive session. The young people become more enthusiastic as the time progresses and our volunteers never do a session alone so there is always someone to bounce off of and to be a support.
You can find out more about the StreetDoctors via their Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.
To nominate a student for volunteer of the month click here.