London emergency response volunteer Cristina Dalton

London emergency response volunteer Cristina Dalton

Not only does Cristina Dalton get a huge amount of satisfaction from being a Red Cross volunteer – it’s also helped land her a good job.

Cristina, a London-based emergency response volunteer for almost three years, is by now an old hand at helping people in crisis. Many is the time she’s turned out following a fire or power cut, to help set up a rest centre or offer medical support.

So when Kingston Council recently advertised for an emergency planning officer, she literally ticked every box and seemed an obvious choice.

Career ladder

She said: “My volunteering experience really helped me get the job. Everything I’ve done with the Red Cross was so relevant – as I now deal with crisis response, rest centres and emergency equipment from the organisational side.

“Obviously, I’ve still kept on volunteering since getting the job, because I really enjoy being involved in the practical side – getting out there and helping people.”

Besides providing a helpful nudge up the career ladder, volunteering for the Red Cross has opened up plenty of new social opportunities for Cristina.

Making friends

She said: “I’ve had so many great experiences and met all sorts of different people I’d never have come across otherwise. I’ve made lots of good friends.”

She added: “Being on duty is always great fun and I get a lot of satisfaction from helping people – it can be quite addictive! I definitely think you get more out than you put in.”

Exciting events

Adding yet another string to her bow, Cristina occasionally turns out as a first aider at public events. She explained: “It’s meant I’ve been able to go to events I otherwise would never have even considered.

“Last year alone, I went to the Jubilee garden party at Buckingham Palace, the Olympic cycling race in Kingston and a Polo in the Park event, which was fascinating!”