It has been an emotionally, physically and mentally challenging year for healthcare workers.

Great Western Air Ambulance Charity’s (GWAAC) crew treated their first Covid-19 patient in February 2020, one of more than 1,700 callouts in 2020.

GWAAC attend to the most critically ill and injured patients in Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire, North Somerset and parts of Wiltshire.

For one crewmember, it wasn’t just dealing with working on the frontline, but with relocating and starting a new job as well.

Trainee specialist paramedic Fleur Mosley joined the charity in August 2020, moving to the south west from London where she previously worked as the lead emergency care paramedic in a busy South London emergency department.

She described working in London during the beginning of the pandemic as “harrowing”.

“By the nature of what we’re exposed to daily, we give bad news quite regularly, and that was the same for me whilst working in my role in London too," said Fleur.

"To be doing that so often can be pretty tough, but I am very lucky to have an amazing support network of friends and family, a lot of whom also work in healthcare, so have lots of similar experiences.

Fleur is currently going through a two-year training programme to be signed off as a specialist paramedic in critical care.

Trainee specialist paramedic Fleur Mosley

Trainee specialist paramedic Fleur Mosley

“The job and training can be pretty intense, and by the nature of the job we all put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do better," she said.

"Supervision and mentoring are there to make sure we are doing okay, being supported in the right way and to bring you out of your shell a bit more."

"Moving down to the south west and not having a physical network has made the whole thing harder. I hadn’t fully prepared for that.

“The lockdown has definitely made this experience much more overwhelming than it would have been otherwise. None of us could do any of the things we do without each other, having those conversations in person is part of decompressing.

"Being in human contact is really important- and wow do I miss a good hug!

"I am so lucky to have such a great group of people to be training and developing with. To have it all backed by charitable donations is the cherry on the cake.

"We wouldn’t be doing the jobs we’re doing and getting the training we’re getting without you, we’re completely indebted to you all really.”

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