Michael McHardy

Joined 1985

Isle of Sheppey Ambulance Cadet Division, Kent

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Black and white group photograph of adult and Cadet members of Isle of Sheppey division, seated outside. Drums and other musical instruments are laid out on the ground in front of them.
Isle of Sheppey band, Michael McHardy (middle row, third from right), c.1986 Image courtesy of Michael McHardy
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Yes I was walking past, which I tended to do quite a lot walking the streets, because I didn’t have a very good upbringing, so yeah. I was walking past this building and there was a guy standing there and he said, “Are you okay?” Just generally talking to me, and you know. And he said, “Oh why don’t you come inside. We’re called St John Ambulance and we’ve got Cadets. And you can learn First Aid, help people in the public.” His name was Brian Fox, he was like in charge at that time. So he sort of, you know, took me in, we had a good long chat and stuff like that. But he tended to realise there was something not right. So he was, yeah, sort of took me under his wing at that time. I felt really welcomed by others – there was lots of other Cadets there, and when he introduced me, everyone sort of smiled. There was no sort of little groups, you know, or, I’m just better than you, because obviously when I was at school, I got bullied quite a lot because of the way I was dressed and stuff like that. And it just – yeah it just felt really welcoming at that time. I always remember seeing this full-length Annie on the floor, well it was a full-length resuscitating Annie and it was like full hair and I was like, well that’s really weird, but yeah it was really good. So I got introduced to everyone really there and then, and everyone they welcomed me in really well.

Excerpt courtesy of Michael McHardy