I’m probably not the kind of person you might assume would even have time for volunteering… I have four children and work four days a week in Environmental Health, but I really enjoy being a Community Volunteer for Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service.
The volunteering role is just so varied, it’s incredible, and I really feel as though I’m making a difference. My volunteering is actually something for me, not just for the people in the community that we’re helping and advising.
The Fire and Rescue Service has really invested in me as a volunteer with training to help me in the role and emergency first aid training too. The commitment asked from me in return is just six hours a month minimum, but my volunteering depends on the events and initiatives that are going on at the time. As a Community Volunteer I get out and about a lot, going to local festivals, open days at the fire station, passing out parades for the new recruits, pensioners’ days to help raise fire safety awareness and talks in schools.
We do practical activities too. I’ve had to pretend to be a casualty in the firefighters’ training and we use a smoke tent with young people filled with artificial smoke to teach them the best way to escape a fire. Since the Grenfell fire, we’ve also been part of a fire safety awareness campaign for people in high rise blocks too. In this way as a Community Volunteer, I may not have been on the front line in an emergency, but I’m sure the advice and information we give saves lives. This gives me all the motivation I need to be a volunteer.