How I Empower Kids by Teaching Basic Life Skills
As a volunteer leader at her local Badgers club, Meg Long, 42, from Leeds enjoys the challenge of her weekly class. A trained nurse, Meg works full time at a private hospital but was keen to get involved in a community project in her spare time.
A Change from WorkMeg told us, “I love my job, but I find that the hospital can be quite a heavy environment to work in, especially as it is usually very sick, elderly patients that I look after. My brother-in-law works with the St John’s Ambulance and he told me about the Badgers a few years ago as he sometimes works with them too.”
She continued, “Badgers is the national club for children who are interested in medical things – basically like a junior medical club – but it’s run as a fun hobby rather than a serious thing, although there is a focus on health and personal care. So, for example, one week it might be that we’re talking about healthy eating and we show the kids how to make a healthy meal for their family, or we might talk about the importance of keeping fit and learn some new exercises.”
Empowering Exercise for KidsMeg particularly enjoys the practical nature of her voluntary work with the Badgers as she has seen just how much it can boost the confidence of the young people in her class. She explained, “One week we did a class on the importance of good hygiene and we started it off by talking about washing our hands. Of course, the kids all groaned and thought it was going to be a really boring lesson, but nevertheless we got them to go and wash their hands as well as they could. When they came back in the room we’d set up this ultra-violet machine that I borrowed from work and quickly changed their minds!”
Meg continued, “Each child put their hands under the machine and it showed how dirty their hands where even though they’d just washed them. It was a real lightbulb moment for them and I really enjoyed sharing such a basic life skill with the kids. To be honest, I find that just as exciting as I do when I’m at work rushing around on an emergency! At Badgers we regularly do such like learning about CPR, the recovery position, how to help someone who is having an asthma attack…all those basic skills that can give you confidence to know what to do in an emergency. Badgers is great for kids because it is often the kids that don’t want to do a sporty hobby that can really flourish there, and I love being a part of it.”
As a volunteer worker with kids Meg needed to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, before she was able to be part of the class, but the cost of the check was covered by the St John’s Ambulance and she has been able to add it to her CV.