Kelly Hayes - Walthamstow volunteer profile

Kelly Hayes in front of Walthamstow Town HallKelly Hayes is a volunteer with the community first responder scheme in Waltham Forest.

Why did you want to be a volunteer?

I have always admired the work of paramedics so when I first heard about the project I immediately thought what a fantastic way to support their work and to give something back to my local community.

What do you do for a living?

I am a pastoral manager for children aged 11 to 16. My job is to ensure that their social and emotional wellbeing is looked after and to empower them with the tools to remove any barriers they may have to learning.

What hours are you on duty?

Being a community responder is very rewarding and I volunteer as much time as I can: on average I do around 20 hours a month. The scheme is very flexible and any time spent volunteering is appreciated. As a unit we support each other to develop a rota which provides weekend cover.

How often are you called each shift?

Each shift is different, that’s what makes it exciting and rewarding. I am called out almost every time I'm on duty and attend anything from two to eight calls in any one shift.

What sort of medical emergencies have you attended?

I have been to a variety of different incidents including patients who have had a seizure, are having difficulty breathing, taken an overdose and even patients in cardiac arrest. The ambulance crews are great and I learn something new every shift.