A-Star Holly plans for a Paramedic career


Holly Fletcher with Youth Worker Calvin Wilkes
Holly Fletcher with Youth Worker Calvin Wilkes

I was asked to go visit a young woman by the name of Holly Fletcher, who I was told she is an ‘A star’ student, as she had just attained 2 A Stars, an A and C grade in her GCSE’s exams recently.

Holly brings her younger siblings to the Leeds Youth Service football session called ‘On Target’ project, which is a joint initiative with the Leeds United Foundation based at the Old Cockburn Sport Hall, at the bottom of Dewsbury Road. Holly is also part of the Youth Service youth engagement group. She has helped to design a youth consultation questionnaire, to find out what young people think about living the Beeston area and what they would change if they had a magic wand.

Holly attends the South Leeds Academy School. A couple of months ago she was struggling to study at home as her computer had broken down and she couldn’t get it repaired in time. She approach a Youth Worker Calvin Wilkes and one of her teachers Verona McShane and they came up with a laptop for her to use at home to prepare for her exams.  “Without the laptop I wouldn’t have got my A-stars” she says.

So what does Holly want to do with her recently acquired qualifications?  In her personal statement she said her ideal, her dream job is to become a Paramedic or a Rapid Response worker for the Ambulance Service. This threw me, as I wasn’t expecting this as a response.

She said she had been dreaming about this job for some time. “You just know it. I just want to work alongside people to help them, to know I’m there to help them”. I asked her how she would deal with the blood, gore and the broken bones. Holly who is First Aide trained just said “Oh that’s nothing I’m use to looking after my siblings”.

Now, I don’t know if looking after your siblings can really be considered as transferable skills to prepare you for a life as a Paramedic. I thought a child with a scraped knee got a wipe with a wet hanky and a kiss, I’m not sure if the NHS teaches nurses these sophisticated and technical methods as part of their paediatric training.

So I asked Holly how she planned to prepare for her ideal job – she said “I plan to train as a Nurse first, then when I’m 21 I’ll apply for a heavy goods vehicle licence, so I can drive an ambulance”.

I have never met such a young person, who is so mature for her age, who is clear about what career she is wanting to pursue. Not only that she has a career path about how she intends to achieve her goal, which also is unusual. I am in awe of Holly, speaking as someone who is terrified at the sight of needles, I couldn’t do that job.

Well I think the NHS should snap up this young woman and employ her now, because if I ever need to ring the emergency services, I want somebody like Holly to turn up – someone who sees their role as a ‘calling’, ‘a labour of love’ which they just happen to get paid for.

With all the negative stories you hear about in the NHS it’s still – ‘free at the point of delivery’  and you know you will always receive emergency treatment and hopefully you will always be treated by someone like Holly who cares about people that need help.

Holly, I hope you reach your dream.


This article was written by St Clair Brown using our Community Reporters website