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6th March 2017

Just a little curious…

I know that when recruitment comes again in September, I will be encouraging potential volunteers who seem “just a little bit curious” to come to and see what StreetDoctors is all about.

Becoming a member of StreetDoctors for me has taken place almost in a series of stages, with each increasing my passion for the work that is being carried out by the charity. My first experience hearing about StreetDoctors was being told in a sentence about what the organisation actually did: “teaching life-saving skills to at-risk young people who would need that information the most.” The idea reached out to me as I did particularly enjoy teaching already and thought this could be a fun and challenging prospect, along with doing some good too. Mostly, however, I was just a little curious. Though it was only after attending an information meeting, did I understand just how crucial the work that StreetDoctors was doing actually was.

A speech delivered by Ray Douglas (StreetDoctors StepWise and London Delivery Worker) allowed me to first understand the problem StreetDoctors was attempting to solve and the perspective of the founders of the charity around addressing the need. A standout section of Ray’s speech was around young people filming the acts and aftermaths of fights and other incidents of violence. He opened my eyes to the fact that the videos were showing more than just the act of violence. For example, the norm of a bystander filming the situation, instead of helping them the victim. Many barriers could have prevented this, but perhaps they may not have had the knowledge or confidence to do so? This was the point I knew that becoming part of StreetDoctors was something I wholeheartedly wanted to do.

After becoming a part of the Birmingham team, all of the other joining ‘newbies’ and I was informed about the organising that was taking place for the oncoming “StreetDoctors Conference.” Although this wasn’t the most conventional first conference I imagine most StreetDoctors have had, it was still the great experience the older team members had promised it would be. As well as hard hitting speeches from very passionate speakers, we got to see all the success the charity had been having so far and what we should be striving to aim for in the coming year. Not only did this reinforce the importance of the work being done but also demonstrated to me the real impact I could have on someone through the work that StreetDoctors do.

Once conference was over I got to experience what being part of StreetDoctors really meant and, having completed my first 3 teaching sessions, I can already understand what everyone was talking about when they said it is an incredibly gratifying experience. To see the difference that a simple session can make in someone’s beliefs and knowledge surrounding knife crime and engaging in violent behaviour is truly a remarkable one. Though it is not always an easy task and can be frustrating at times, it can be such a rewarding experience that I would advise anyone with the desire to make a difference to join. Though I still have a lot more to do within StreetDoctors this year, I already know that when recruitment time comes around again in September, I will be encouraging those people who seem “just a little bit curious” to come to an information evening and see what StreetDoctors is all about.

StreetDoctors Birmingham Volunteer