Sarajevo and Healing Hands Network

At 20 years old I wanted to do something ‘more’ with my life.  I wrote off to the ‘Voluntary Services Overseas’; but being a woman they weren’t interested unless I was a nurse or a teacher.  I later joined the Ambulance Service, and many years on that experience has given me a special interest in Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The want to do something “more” with my life, lingered.

Now, through my work as the Stress Medic, I am able to support a wonderful charity – Healing Hands Network, and have been working with their UK Forces Project.  The charity is dedicated to the relief of suffering caused by war and its aftermath, and so are familiar with PTSD.  Outside of the UK, one area greatly affected is Sarajevo.  Healing Hands Network have been sending alternative therapy volunteers to Bosnia since 1997.

headling hands network

Sarajevo: my choice to help relieve suffering

So, in May, I have chosen to go to Sarajevo for two weeks to volunteer. It is a bit of a last minute decision; but I’m finally going to do voluntary service overseas! Those who donate their time must raise the funds necessary for their airfare and lodging, and towards interpreters wages; in my case £800.

This may be a calling I have felt for a long time, but now I am giving my time and making it happen. If it resonates with you, and you feel inspired and able to support me in some way, I would be grateful for any donation towards this cost.

Yes, I’d like to donate

 

The Stress Medic & the West Midlands Air Ambulance

The 25 years since I became a crew member, and attended the launch of the first West Midlands Air Ambulance, have flown by – if you’ll excuse the pun!

In January, a friend told me that the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity were asking to hear from people who’d been involved with the organisation, since its formation in 1991. In preparation for their 25th Anniversary Celebrations.As a member of the first team to crew the Air Ambulance, and having also been air lifted following a car accident, she thought I might want to give them a call.

Stress Medic & Midlands Air Ambulance

I was getting ready to leave for a skiing holiday and suffering from laryngitis, so decided to leave it until I got home. In the event, I will admit that part of me was unsure, it was all such a long time ago. But I made the call, and was put through to Sam, who asked me a few questions, thanked me, and said she’d be in touch.

Sam called the very next day and asked if I was free tomorrow, to attend the 25th Anniversary launch and perhaps do an interview or two. I wasn’t free, so declined. But later, realising that everything I had booked in for the next day could easily be rearranged, I called Sam back. This was after all a once only opportunity.

Stress Medic & the Midlands Air Ambulance

Arriving at Cosford Air Base, with my husband armed with his camera, it was a beautiful but cold and windy day. We were introduced to some of the charities members and fund raisers, and made very welcome.

I was asked to do an interview with Andrew Easton, of Hereford & Worcester local radio. This surprised me a little, as for some reason I thought it would just be a piece for the local newspaper. So, I was surprised again when asked to do an interview for BBC Midlands Today!

Stress Medic Midlands Air Ambulance interview

Of course there is always huge media interest in the Air Ambulance, so many people do amazing work raising the funds to support it, and very many are helped by it. So why was I surprised?  Well, I think because in some ways, it was just part of my work.  Even being airlifted after my accident seemed normal and familiar to me.  And it is, after all, the Air Ambulance that is high profile – not me.

Of course there is always huge media interest in the Air Ambulance, so many people do amazing work raising the funds to support it, and very many are helped by it. So why was I surprised? Well, I think because in some ways, it was just part of my work. Even being airlifted after my accident seemed normal and familiar to me. And it is, after all, the Air Ambulance that is high profile - not me.

You can watch the Midlands Today feature via Facebook here. I make my appearance at 1m 26secs.