Swansea Naval Cadets help emergency services fight Covid

Although lockdown is easing, Royal Navy cadets continue to assist the fight against Covid-19 alongside the emergency services.

Officer Cadets Robert Jones and Samuel Murkin – both serving with Wales University Royal Naval Unit – have volunteered to work with nurses, surgeons and the police to help ease the burden on front-line workers.

Right now the two Swansea University undergraduates should have been coming to the end of a summer deployment with the unit’s patrol boat, HMS Express, which gives students a sample of life in the Royal Navy by deploying around north-west Europe.

Due to the pandemic, instead Express and half a dozen sisters are sailing around Scotland – but without students embarked.

So medical student Robert is now a health care assistant helping sick youngsters in the children’s emergency unit at Swansea’s Morriston Hospital, putting to good use skills he developed during his first year at Swansea University Medical School.

Samuel, who is studying for a master’s in mechanical engineering, is helping to share vital messages for Avon and Somerset Police.

It has been a very positive and rewarding experience. I had never properly been out on the wards as the pandemic led to our first clinical placement being cancelled so the first few days on the ward were a real learning experience! But the staff have been amazing and couldn’t do more to help.

Officer Cadets Robert Jones

He is considering a career in the Royal Navy as a medical officer and says the best part of volunteering has been seeing the change in children following their treatment. “I have been fortunate enough to be able to care for children and their families at often their most vulnerable times.”

Samuel passes on vital communication and key messages from the Avon and Somerset force to the local community via social media groups.

“I am hoping to join the police force in the future, so the experience is very useful for me personally, but I was also eager to do something to help my community and our police at such a difficult time,” he said.