My job

Funding my trips on the Mercy Ships has not been difficult

Meet one of the nurse volunteers who has travelled the world for up to a month at a time.

Meet one of the nurse volunteers who has travelled the world for up to a month at a time

I trained as a children’s nurse in York for three years, working on a ward for five years. Throughout my career, I kept returning to Mercy Ships because I am passionate about helping people without access to hospitals.

On the four times that I have volunteered, from nine-day to four-week placements, I’ve done general surgery such as hernias, lipomas and goitres, plastics to reduce movement restriction and, recently, orthopaedic surgery.

Funding my trips hasn’t been particularly difficult; I set up a JustGiving page to cover crew fees and airfare.

Mercy Ships help to create a sustainable future. Local nurses have been mentored, surgeons have been trained and World Health Organization safe anaesthesia/theatre and neonatal resuscitation courses are offered.

This year in Madagascar, the Freedom from Fistula Foundation set up a clinic on land to train local nurses. When the Mercy ship leaves next June, the clinic will be staying.

While I haven’t finalised any personal plans to volunteer again, I’d be surprised if I didn’t end up working overseas in the future.


Cathy Armstrong (pictured right) is a children’s nurse based in Chester and a Mercy Ships volunteer

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