I underwent the RCN Prince of Wales Nursing Cadet scheme in 2020 and have recently become a Nursing Cadet Ambassador. My experience of the scheme was entirely online due to the pandemic, and so it was great to attend the cadet weekend last week with actual people! It was lovely to get to know people I’ve only seen in 2D before.
Currently I’m in my final year at Cardiff University studying undergrad Biomedical Sciences, and have an offer to study graduate entry medicine at Oxford University next year. I am very passionate about mental health and have a special interest in neurological disorders. With this in mind, I was looking for opportunities to volunteer during my summer break. As I’m not a medic (yet) many medical volunteer programs weren’t open to me, but I’m really excited to have been successful in securing a place to volunteer in a remote Fijian village with Think Pacific.
Think Pacific is a charitable foundation that partners with the Fijian government to support the poorest villages. Their volunteers run several projects and work with the communities to improve the quality of living and health. The project is designed to be sustainable, working with the local people and training youth groups as mental health ambassadors to continue the work after we have left. At all times, the project is developed to be culturally aware and appreciate the differences that make Fijian people so amazing.
I have self-funded all my expenses and I am also raising £1,000 to go directly back into the Think Pacific project and further their work. You can find out more about this here.
I know how important help with our mental health can be as I struggle with anxiety myself. We are lucky in the UK as there is some help available and less stigma in seeking support. I am really pleased too that our mental health services are moving to working on the prevention of mental health issues as well as treating symptoms once they arise. This expedition is an incredible opportunity and I’m looking forward to being able to help others with this in Fiji.