We Are Essex

Iain's story

Iain Brooke-Bennett

"It’s still uniform but in a different walk of life. I love that I can actually make a massive contribution when people are feeling distressed."

"I’m proud of the work I do in my spare time; I’m a volunteer for St. John Ambulance. I have three main roles; one of them is Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response Officer for London which means I work alongside organisations to ensure St. John Ambulance has the resilience and capability to respond to major emergencies, such as things like the Grenfell Tower Fire or Terrorist Attacks. This ensures we have the ambulance requirements, skills and personnel in place to respond to anything at short notice.

I ran the biggest Treatment Centre at Nottinghill Carnival. We saw about 150 patients, it was really busy and really intense. It was all under my command, which was something I was exceptionally proud of. I loved doing it, it was a real adrenaline rush. I’ve had no other experience like it.

When I was growing up I was inspired by TV heroes. I’m a huge sci-fi geek. I remember thinking they were all amazing and I wanted to grow up to be like them. This prompted me to get involved with things like cadets. At the moment I’m retraining as a military nurse, I knew that I wanted to move into healthcare for a while, but for many years I often doubted whether it was the right thing to do. When the opportunity arose to join military nursing, I jumped at the chance so I could combine my two passions, which are the forces and healthcare.

After making the change, I’ve never been happier. My quality of life has improved in terms of day to day happiness, and feeling more relaxed and comfortable. It is ok to pursue your passions, if you aren’t doing what makes you happy there is no point doing it. Identify your passions and make it happen, no matter what. Don’t in any way compromise, don’t settle for less. Go and get it.

I started off getting into first aid when I was 18 when I was at university for the first time. It’s the fact that I can actually contribute to society, and actually see a different side of things that I’m not used to in my military background. It’s still uniform, but a different walk of life. I love that I can actually make a massive contribution when people are feeling distressed."

 

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