16 May 2024

My Life Now - meet Amelia

It’s been over two decades since we first set sail – what are the young people who have been on our trips up to now? For Amelia, spending time with others improved her mental health and allowed her to embrace her teenage years again, marking the first step toward her brighter future.

Amelia helming the boat wearing a navy captains hat with a big smile on her face and the blue sea behind her.

Name: Amelia Caley

Age: 24

Diagnosis/year: SPEN tumour- pancreatic in 2013

When did you first sail with the Trust? Summer 2014

What do you do now? Currently, I work for the North East Ambulance Service as a Health Advisor and an Ambulance Liaison Assistant.

Explain what that means? My role consists of making sure that people get the correct level of care and transport, that could be in an emergency situation on 999 or111. A Lot of the time it's when people are in a vulnerable situation and it can consist of providing reassurance, signposting to their GP and all the way up to providing lifesaving first aid and care over the phone. This part of my role can be stressful but rewarding, plus sometimes weird and wonderful, there is no limit to the situations that can happen on shift.

The other part of my role is to support patients when they need assistance getting to their outpatient appointment. This service is for patients that cannot be transported by car or public transport. Most of my duties consist of making sure risk assessments are completed, talking to patients about the service and working with a wide range of staff in both hospitals, care homes and other emergency services to create plans.

Why did you want to do this? I moved to Newcastle without any sort of plan and needed a job, realised I actually enjoy helping people and it seemed like a good fit. It's sometimes a super stressful role but I’m hoping this will give me experience to further my career.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve done lately? Recently moving to Newcastle, the city is amazing, I have definitely found my forever home (I still need to brush up on my football). I am currently writing freelance for a music magazine, interviewing some amazing local punk bands and getting to go to fantastic local gigs.

Why did you need the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust’s support in recovery? I was very isolated post cancer. In school, I was the only person that had cancer at the time. I was bullied, as I did not receive what people believed to be proper cancer treatment, but the trips showed me that cancer care was completely different for each person. I remember being a volunteer on my 1st time at Bradwell, me and another volunteer realised we were scar buddies and had the same surgeon even though we lived opposite ends of the country.

My long term health and mental health went down the drain, relearning how to care for myself and learning how to be a teenager. The trips gave me the chance to learn and have fun, without having to be concerned about my health at any point, being safe and supported.

What part has the charity played in doing what you are now? It has helped me learn that life is one step at a time, you don't have to rush, you can take a side step, my current role wasn't in my plan, but it got me the chance to live in an amazing area, the confidence to be myself and meet new people.

What’s your top tip for other young people? If you want to work in the Ambulance Service, especially in the call centre, volunteer with St John Ambulance or with a community group, work as a lifeguard and speak to people about their experience. This job isn’t always about the 999 emergency situations, it's about understanding people and being responsible, friendly and quick thinking.