Get to know Christine

This week we meet Christine Cheetham

Senior Instructor at Essex Outdoors Mersea

Tell us a little about you

Hi there.  My name is Christine and I work as a As a Senior Instructor at Essex Outdoors Mersea but often visit our other centres at Danbury and Bradwell.

What do you do at Essex Outdoors?

As a Senior Instructor my job role is quite varied.  At the beginning of the season I train and then assess our new seasonal instructors on the delivery of outdoor activities including a two-day archery course, bushcraft and many others.  Outside of this I have two main roles:

Developmental training – focusing on Team Challenge, Low Ropes and orienteering.  The age range for this is seven years old to as old as you want.

I am also the lead in bushcraft where we run sessions focusing on the whole person.

These developmental sessions are aimed at working with a range of individuals that have a range of different needs.  This could be children that struggle in a normal school setting through to people with a range of physical and mental disabilities.

I am also the lead for first aid training for all of Essex Outdoors.  I write and deliver courses ranging from the one day Emergency First Aid at Work through to more detailed courses such as the three day First Aid at Work or the First Aid at Work/Paediatric Combined programme.

This time of year we would normally have just finished training our new seasonal staff and be observing them and signing them off to run activities by themselves.

What do you enjoy most about working at Mersea?

I love all the aspects of my job, the variety of all the above suits me perfectly. I absolutely love instructing children and adults alike and am missing it terribly.

To keep up to speed in this industry I often attend Institute of Outdoor Learning conferences and The Emergency Services Show where you can see the latest kit for outdoors industry and first aid and lots lots more.

I also attend the European Resuscitation Councils conference every 5 years when the new first aid procedures are announced.

When you’re not at work, what are you most likely to be doing?

Outside of work I am a volunteer with the East of England Ambulance Service as a Community First Responder and as such am dealing with ill patients and patients who have had accidents on a weekly basis.  This keeps my first aid trainers skills up and gives me proper experience in the first aid field. It also gives me a good feeling that I am helping my local community

I am also the coordinator of my local group and the operations representative for the whole of Essex.  As such there is lots to do, conference calls, welfare checks, training on line and so on. As First Responders we are not knowingly sent to COVID 19 cases, however we do have PPE level 2 issued to us which we wear to every call we go to.

On Saturdays and Sundays I work in the Ambulance Call Centre in Chelmsford. My job there is to look for First Responder appropriate 999 calls that come in and contact the responders who are booked on duty to dispatch them to the patient in a timely fashion.

In these difficult times my responder role has grown and, as a team, now run prescription medication to all in our community that can’t get to the shops.  This involves going to each of the three chemists on Mersea Island twice a day six days a week.

Outside of work and my volunteering I enjoy going for runs early in the morning and working through new ideas for Team Challenge and bushcraft activities.

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