From education to employment

Aspiring paramedic wins national award thanks to his compassion and commitment to help others

An 18-year-old with ambitions to become a paramedic has won a prestigious national award after showing incredible dedication to his education.

Harry Disney, from the East Midlands, started volunteering with St John’s Ambulance at 16 and regularly gave his time to provide first aid cover for large events in and around Nottingham, including football matches, marathons and music events.

His involvement with St John’s Ambulance reinforced his desire to pursue a career in emergency medicine and, after Harry passed his driving test, he trained to be a volunteer First Responder for the Ambulance Service. Harry is frequently the first on the scene for emergency 999 calls, reassuring the patients and making them comfortable until the paramedics arrive.

It’s this impressive dedication and selflessness that has seen him named Learner of the Year at the Aspiration Awards – a national celebration created by the educational charity NCFE.

Harry said: “For a long time I always wanted to be in emergency services, and through primary school, and as a kid, I always wanted to be a police officer. But then it got towards the end of secondary school, and I was just like, you know what, I’ll be a paramedic. It’s just more focused on helping people over chasing bad guys.

“I volunteered for St John’s Ambulance originally and did that for about two years. But then I wanted to do more for my career, so I joined First Response for the Ambulance Service, so I could then get some exposure in what I will be doing eventually as my career.”

As someone who learns best through a mixture of practical experience and academic study, Harry decided the best route for him to become a paramedic was studying a T Level in Health – a new A Level-equivalent technical qualification – at Loughborough College.

Using his volunteering experience, Harry has been able to share his knowledge and experience with his peers and is an excellent role model and mentor in practical sessions. He has led sessions in resuscitation and helped his classmates to understand practical elements of the qualification.

Kate Storr, T Level Coordinator at Loughborough College, said:

“Harry sprang to mind immediately because of the amount of work he does and the dedication he shows. He’s always had a goal in mind, and he’s gone for it.”

Harry added: “The volunteering outside of college allows me to bring the knowledge I’ve learned on the job into the classroom, where I can explain this to my friends, especially during the practical activities. This helps them gain a more rounded experience from a teacher, but also me as a student, who is out there doing the job.”

Having already been offered places at multiple universities to study Paramedic Science after successfully completing his applications and interviews, Harry is looking forward to continuing his learning journey.

He concluded: “The future definitely looks bright after finishing the T Level in Health because it’s allowed me to get to the next stage of education which is, in turn, enabling me to do the career I’d like to do.”

Created by the leader in vocational and technical learning NCFE, the Aspiration Awards are now in their sixth year and celebrate learners, educators, and educational organisations across the UK.

David Gallagher, Chief Executive of NCFE, said:

“Harry is a remarkable learner who has given up so much of his time to support the local community. It was inspiring to hear how he has supported his peers with practical elements of the T Level, and that this qualification is helping him to reach the next step in his emergency services career. NCFE is delighted to present Harry with this award.”

Related Articles