Another of the volunteers around the country for ‪#‎VolunteersWeek‬ where we celebrate the work of ‪#‎BloodBikes‬.
My name is Jillian Hailes. I am 26 and I currently work at Herne CE Infant and Nursery School in Kent. I also volunteer as a Blood runner for SERV Kent. Here is my advice for anyone wanting to be a Bloorunner:
1. Be prepared to leave wherever you are. Being on call can mean I sometimes miss out on social events. A memorable night was when I was called out on a blood run whilst at a 1950s jive dancing night and roamed the hospitals looking like an extra from grease and receiving a mixture of strange looks and
smiles from hospital staff.
2. The smallest acts can make a big different. When I am on call I know I may meet new people, I know that I can enjoy a drive and listen to the radio but most importantly I know that in a small, stress-free way I can help change lives, and this is definitely the best part of the job. It is very rewarding.
3. Get out and do something different. It is a different conversation starter and not something that people expect a woman in her 20s to be doing but I love it and it is something I would encourage other people to get involved in no matter what age or gender they are.
4. Wanting something to do in your free time? Why not save lives. As an Infant School Teacher I spend most of my time planning lessons and teaching young children. I had always wanted to be a teacher to mould lives for the future however there has always been a part of me that has wanted to be a paramedic or work within the NHS in a similar role. A lot of my family members are nurses or in the emergency services and I have always admired that their jobs are on the front line and change people‛s lives immediately. I did not want to retrain as I loved my job but wanted to find a way that I could help people in my spare time.
5. My final top tip is always have lively music in the car and a bag of sweets. When my phone rings on a
Friday or Saturday the adrenaline kicks in and I know that I will be greeted and supported by a friendly controller. They tell me which hospitals I will be going to and how many boxes I will be carrying so that I can make sure I have a sack barrow if needed enough space in the car. I then hop into the car and usually sing very loudly along with the radio to keep me (a probably any one in nearby cars) alert. I then take the blood into the hospitals or to the changeover point where I meet another SERV member. I have met lots of new, friendly and interesting people. After filling in relevant paperwork and safely handing over the blood boxes I then head home and what I love it knowing that SERV is a community who look after each other as the controller always asks me to contact when I am safely inside my house. Everyone is appreciated and very much looked out for.