“I would have been taught by StreetDoctors!”
For me being a volunteer for StreetDoctors is like being constantly torn between two conflicting personalities whilst looking in the mirror and remembering who I am, where I have come from, and why I have a passion to make a difference.
A background of multiple incidences of violence, aggression and crime makes every session I teach bring a somewhat warm reminiscence back to me – I see and appreciate the difficulties the youths go through on a personal level and recognise the potential in every single one of them. Because after 3 years of sheer misconduct and spending time in environments like those we teach in, I decided enough was enough, and committed to series of changes that has brought me to the position I’m in today.
Earlier this year, I shared my story and that of StreetDoctors, with the help of Elliott Smith (another Newcastle volunteer) at my secondary school – the place where my journey first began. I told all 700 students with certainty that if I had continued my down my original path I would have followed in the footsteps of others I knew, doing drugs, jobless, in prison and possibly in a position where I would have been taught by StreetDoctors! I used my story and that final remark to encourage them all to stay out of trouble and to hopefully inspire those that it’s never too late make a change.
With the help of the school we taught a series of bleeding and unconscious sessions to a group of 60+ students. All the students interacted extremely well and showed that they had gained not just knowledge but comfortability in performing the first aid skills we taught. There are now plans to revisit and deliver more teaching sessions in the future.
In gratitude, for our efforts and time, the school did a non-school uniform day raising just over £500 for StreetDoctors. They also included in their Easter Newsletter.
Harley Fuller (StreetDoctors Newcastle volunteer and medical student at the University of Newcastle)