By Sheree Hoddinett
For Kiah Vescovi, volunteering is about making a contribution to the community and helping others in the process. The 21-year-old from Beachmere, has been a volunteer with the Moreton Bay First Aid Volunteers group (MBFAV) for the last three years, having joined as soon as she turned 18 back in 2019.
Kiah’s future goal is to become a paramedic after recently completing her University degree. She also combined this with working as an Assistant in Nursing at a children’s hospice, as well as tackling her volunteer role with MBFAV. With an energy and positive outset way beyond her young age, Kiah’s determination will put her in good stead to reach her goal in no time.
Kiah’s foray into the volunteering world began when she was still at school, helping out with a youth group and taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh program. She highlights the importance of creating a balance between the social and work aspects of life, while helping out within the local community.
“It’s pretty normal for me to help out, so volunteering is just a part of life for me,” she says. “I volunteer to get more experience and because I enjoy doing it. It creates a good feeling, a sense of accomplishment and achievement and it doesn’t feel like work but you’re still helping people. It’s about giving something back and people are really thankful because you’re putting your time in there and not doing it to get paid.”
Studying to become a paramedic, Kiah knew she wanted to get involved in a first aid group to back up her studies and further her experience. Although she had to wait until she was 18 to take on a role, that didn’t stop Kiah from researching her options.
“I actually found MBFAV online through a Google search,” she says. “I saw their website and thought they looked really fun and they were looking for people at the time. They had a section asking for volunteers, so I sent an enquiry before I turned 18. They were really keen for me to join, so it was a quick process and before I knew it I was there.”
With great encouragement, support and fortnightly training, MBFAV provides volunteers like Kiah with opportunities to further their skills in a bid to work towards any goals or achievements they seek.
“There’s a lot of people in this group with experience and they’re always keen to help you, plus they understand we’re all young and still learning, so it’s nice of them to take us on board,” she says. “They (MBFAV) definitely have a lot of support for new people, especially if you have never been in first aid before. I had a little bit of experience because of starting Uni at the time, but not much in first aid, so it was a really good boost because it meant I gained a little bit of experience outside of Uni as well. I highly recommend volunteering, especially if you’re already in that field studying or working, even if it’s just once a week. There’s so many events going on that even just once a month, it’s easy to slip something into your schedule.”
With Kiah preparing to undertake a medic course, thanks to MBFAV to further develop her skills, she couldn’t speak more highly of the group which has been a great support to her aspirations.
“I really encourage other people out there, either young people or those studying at Uni, to not be afraid to join and volunteer,” Kiah says. “Give it a go! I didn’t know anyone there when I first started, and it was a bit scary but they were all very welcoming and very accepting. It’s been a great experience for me.”
To find out more about Moreton Bay First Aid Volunteers, please visit www.mbfav.org.au