I deliver talks around the south west of England as well as helping out at events occasionally such as Spring Harvest.
The people who work and volunteer for Mercy Ships are actually showing faith in action. I could see it was a charity where I could tangibly become involved in some way and what I did would make a difference. I wanted to put my faith into action.
Starting with the UK Speaker Network is a great way to get a really good insight into the work of the Mercy Ships. My role before retiring was that of a Leadership & Management Training Facilitator, so I found that the skills I had learned in order to carry out that role did help me. Although Mercy Ships will train you thoroughly if you want to be a UK Network speaker.
I only do what I can with Mercy Ships. It is not a full-time commitment and as a UK Network speaker you are only asked to commit to three talks a year, more if you wish. This is ideal for me now that I am retired.
Having said that, since becoming a UK speaker, I was inspired to go and spend some time on board. I applied to go on the Africa Mercy, working in the galley, back in 2013 and spent three months in the Republic of Congo. I have since spent another three months at the beginning of 2019 working with staff development.
I was able to turn the knowledge about Mercy Ships that I gained from being a speaker in the UK into something tangible and work on board. You do not have to be medical, we need cooks, dining room staff, sales, housekeeping in fact there are loads of job that need to be filled. Once you are bitten Mercy Ships gets into your blood.