,  • June 7, 2017

When I was younger, adventure was everything. We were the first generation to have cameras on our phones.

My friends and I would run across rooftops, swim in the sea, climb hills and trees, and push each other to try bigger and scarier stunts.

By 16 I would be in a coma and my life would be changed forever.

Diving headfirst from a pier into the North Sea, I landed badly.

Mum sat at my bedside as Doctors and Nurses worked round the clock to save my life.

I recovered, but I never lost my awareness of mortality, and how lucky any of us are to be given one chance at life, let alone two. So by 18 I was a lifeguard with the Royal Life Saving Society on the same beaches where my life had nearly ended just 20 months earlier.

Before University I travelled. In low-income countries, I saw what it was really like to live without access to emergency care. I met with the Red Cross and St. John’s ambulance and while I was at University I founded First Aid Africa.

In the 6 years since we became a charity we’ve grown, a lot! With offices in five countries and support from the Scottish Government, we’ve trained over 40,000 first aiders in some of the world’s poorest communities and developed some phenomenal instructors in places like Uganda and Tanzania.

Now it’s time to explore what can be achieved with a social enterprise model. I’ve selected the best instructors and project managers that I’ve met over the past decade in the lifesaving community. We’ll be providing unique wilderness first aid training experiences in Scotland and overseas for folks who can afford them, and we’ll be using profits from these to support lifesaving in communities across Scotland and Africa.

The Wilderness Training Community Interest Company launches this year and will take first aid training out of the classroom, and into the wild. Join the adventure at, www.wildernesstrainingcompany.com

 

Applications to the 2017-18 Good Ideas Academy are now open – apply here before Sunday 1 October 2017 and turn your good idea into a reality.