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.
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.
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.”
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!”