Caring RGU student nominated for British Red Cross award

A dedicated Robert Gordon University (RGU) student has been nominated for a prestigious award in recognition of her volunteer work around the world.

Janine Ewen, 24, has been nominated for the British Red Cross Humanitarian Citizen Award for her work and volunteering efforts both internationally and in Scotland.

Janine is currently studying part-time towards a postgraduate MSc in Health Improvement and Health Promotion at RGU with the aim of establishing a career in international health.

The intrepid traveller, who works in disaster preparedness and pre-hospital care with St. Andrew's First Aid for Aberdeen and the North of Scotland, has been shortlisted for the award in the First Aid category.

Janine received several nominations from her colleagues and peers, including Politics First, a UK political magazine which has run several articles on her achievements.

She said: "It came as a big surprise when I found out about the nomination and then the emails from my friends came flooding in. It is always a nice surprise when people consider you for an award and I am truly grateful to everyone who nominated me."

Janine's work to support First Aid Africa was highlighted as a major reason for her nomination. While in Kenya last year she helped teach first aid in rural communities and then on her return to the UK convinced St. Andrew's First Aid to exchange official uniforms with First Aid Africa.

The newly established link also resulted in additional financial support for First Aid Africa to hire transportation equipment as well as storage. The partnership also encourages St. Andrew's First Aid volunteers to go on international expeditions with the charity.

Janine has supported international development events in Aberdeen and been active in helping mental health related campaigns through Choose Life. In addition, she played a key role supporting the British Red Cross with a recent Floods Preparedness research report – all while continuing her university studies.

Janine said: "I love the MSc in Health Improvement and Health Promotion at RGU as it covers a wide variety of topics including, community development, the meaning of health, global health and the practicalities of working in public health. Studying part-time can be challenging but there are benefits as the course builds your confidence and equips you with knowledge which I have been able to apply to my job and extra circular activities."

Janine will travel to Brazil in August to work on a sexual health promotion project as well as conduct research which will be supported by the United Nations Development Programme.

"This is my first big step in carrying out an in-depth fieldwork research project," she said. "The focus will be on determining what strategies are currently in place to deal with the expected demand of sex services in preparation for the 2014 World Cup.

"It is a very important subject which requires significant research to assess what impact this demand will cause and what support will be necessary to help those who are affected. It is great to have the backing of the United Nations for the project and I hope I can gather the research data I need to complete a research journal article."

The British Red Cross Humanitarian Citizen Award ceremony will take place in London on Saturday, October 5.

Release by
Ross Anderson
Communications Officer|Health and Sport