Falkirk girl’s first aid mission to Africa

Jess Reid has been chosen to teach first aid in a remote area of Uganda in July. Pic: Michael Gillen
Jess Reid has been chosen to teach first aid in a remote area of Uganda in July. Pic: Michael Gillen

A Wallacestone student has been selected by an international humanitarian charity to travel to Uganda on a special first aid mission.

Jess Reid (19), who is currently studying a history degree at Stirling University, will make the journey next summer as an international volunteer with First Aid Africa.

After completing an intensive training course in February, Jess will be fully qualified to teach first aid in rural areas of Africa in a sustainable way, where access to hospitals and doctors is limited.

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Jess, who caught the travelling bug after spells working in America, Spain and Australia, said: “It all came about after I started looking into the programme and decided to apply online.

“The process is very tough and complicated as they only select the candidates they feel will best represent the charity.

“I was really happy when I found out I had got through to the interview stage and even happier when I was informed I was to be sent to Uganda for a month next July to teach first aid.

“I’m already a qualified life guard so I have done some first aid training before but the course I’m doing in February is different as it has been adapted for people in rural parts of Africa who don’t have access to things like ambulances and specific medical aids.”

Jess, who is also studying politics as part of her degree, said she is excited at the prospect of learning about another new country and culture.

“I’m very interested in international development so I can’t wait to get over there. “As a British citizen we get so much other countries don’t and it is easy to take for granted things such as our NHS.

“Travelling to different countries has definitely made me appreciate my own country more and all that we have here in Scotland.”

The former Braes High School pupil is well known in the area for her work as a Holocaust Education Trust Ambassador and also for being a recipient of the Dennis Canavan scholarship which is awarded to individuals who have made a significant difference locally, nationally or internationally.

Jess has to raise £1600 for her forthcoming trip to Africa and is hoping to secure sponsorship in the coming months.

She said: “I’ve set up a fundraising page and have already raised £450 which is a great start.

“I hope to raise even more by taking part in the Great North Swim in Lake Windermere and it would be fantastic if I could also secure sponsorship from a local company.”

Anyone who would like to sponsor Jess can do so by visiting www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/faafundraising or by emailing her at jess.reid@hotmail.co.uk