James McNulty-Ackroyd

Joined 2000

Braunton Cadet Division, Devon

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Colour photograph of two teenage boys standing on a beach. They are wearing sunglasses and St John Ambulance high vis jackets with black shorts.
James McNulty-Ackroyd on duty at the beach, c.2005 Image courtesy of James McNulty-Ackroyd
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While I was working as an actor, I needed jobs around auditions that were flexible. So, I couldn’t go and, you know, work in a bank or have another career because they expect you to be in an office Monday to Friday, nine to five, and most of my auditions were around that time, so I needed work that was able to be flexible. So, I joined St John Ambulance as a paid First Aider for about three or four years, so I was able to work at different events around London. So, St John gave me the training and the opportunities to then be employed with St John as a First Aider, that was nice and flexible around my acting work. But I started to become frustrated because I had a set of skills, and I was going to patients and I was giving treatment and advice, and then I sort of hit a bit of a brick wall, where I knew that there was nothing more I could do, because I didn’t have the qualifications and I didn’t have the knowledge at the time to be able to further treat benefits or benefit patient outcome and the like. So, it was at that point that I then decided to join the London Ambulance Service as an Ambulance Clinician, sort of on a pathway to becoming a paramedic. So, I undertook training within London Ambulance Service, becoming an Emergency Ambulance Crew, which gave me a technician certificate, and then subsequently training as a paramedic. So yeah, certainly, the opportunities that the St John Ambulance Cadets gave me that then took me through into being an adult and then deciding that my career path needed to change and become a paramedic, yeah, I certainly wouldn’t have been able to achieve that as easily without the help of St John.

Excerpt courtesy of James McNulty-Ackroyd