Participant Stories: Kerri-Anne Cully

Currently based in Somerset, South West England, Kerri-Anne Cully is originally from Co Cavan and recently qualified as an occupational therapist (OT). While reading her local newspaper, she came across an article featuring a principal of her local national school, who had just completed her Gold Gaisce Award. Kerri-Anne was inspired to meet up with her and from there she decided to complete her own Gold Award with the help of her PAL, Mary Yore.

As part of her Community Involvement, Kerri-Anne Volunteered with The British Heart Foundation shop in Taunton, Somerset. The British Heart Foundation shops raise much needed funds for lifesaving work through the sale of second hand items. Kerri-Anne’s main duties in the shop were sorting through donated clothes, steaming them, labelling them and organising them on the shop floor.

Kerri-Anne chose first aid as her Personal Skill. After moving to Taunton, she searched for first aid services and found St John’s Ambulance. The first aid training took place every Thursday evening, with guest speakers covering different topics on a weekly basis.  During her time with St John’s, Kerri-Anne completed courses in first aid, automated external defibrillator, moving and handling, emergency life support and incident test.

The Physical Recreation was Kerri-Anne’s most challenging part of the Gaisce Award. She chose to take up running as it’s something she always wanted to do, but always found excuses not to. Kerri-Anne set a goal for herself to train for a 5k. It wasn’t until later into her training, when she moved to England, that she joined a running club, Taunton Running Forever, and her passion for running began. Through the club, Kerri-Anne made new friends and got to know the Taunton area better. Kerri-Anne completed the Bristol Chew Valley 10k in under one hour and continues to enjoy running.

For Kerri-Anne’s Adventure Journey, she decided to hike the South West Coastal Path in England. The journey involved a four-day trek and a three night camp. The journey was one of discovery, and was enhanced by the kind and friendly people she met en route. This personal challenge resulted in a great sense of reward and achievement.

Kerri-Anne went on a Pilgrimage to Lourdes as part of her Residential Project. Kerri-Anne spent her days chatting to the pilgrims,  helping out with breakfast, accompanying them to the grotto. She was also involved in attend ceremonies, visiting the baths, saying the rosary and praying.


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