Northern Ireland Candidates
Ben Malone  

In 2021, never before has there ever truly been a more exciting time to start my journey as a student paramedic. For me, the rapid pace of the development of the paramedic profession and the new roles coming on stream have highlighted the need for a voice in Northern Ireland. I believe that I would be highly suited to this role. 

Currently, I am a volunteer with the Order of Malta Ireland having joined as a Cadet aged 11. I was later promoted to Cadet Sergeant and developed a leadership role whilst working as part of a team. I have now been a member for over 8 years and have gained many experiences, skills and qualifications. I am also one of their national photographers in which I have learned how to demonstrate collaborative team work and appropriately deal with social media. 

Within Ulster University, I have learned how to engage with a new cohort and work with the university to support these students. This has enabled me to develop my confidence which I believe strongly supports me in my role as Regional Representative. 

Previously, I was proactively engaged with my student council at both primary and secondary level and more recently, I was appointed as head boy of my secondary school (2020/2021). I developed my leadership, peer mentoring and supportive role. I was able to listen to the needs of students, address their concerns, liaise and engage with the Prefect Team whilst demonstrating my interpersonal skills. As a result of this, our team were able to implement changes in policies and procedures to provide the necessary support for students where applicable. This was particularly difficult during Covid-19, however we were able to adapt and respond appropriately.  

To be part of the Student Council and represent Northern Ireland would be a huge privilege and honour, especially as we are in our infancy of the first BSc degree programme here. I strongly believe it is essential that our cohort and subsequently, further cohorts are appropriately supported. As a member of the Student Council, I strongly feel that I would represent a role model for student paramedics within my region and provide the most appropriate support to enhance our learning. I would represent the region as a platform for student member’s voices as well as working collaboratively with other Student Council members in order to further the development of student paramedics. 

Being a volunteer has taught me so much, not just the medical skills but also the confidence to engage with the community, patients we meet and other volunteers along the way. Being a paramedic is not all about the lights and sirens, it's about making a positive difference in my community. It's about making a difference to students ensuring their voices are heard. Being a Regional Representative means I can enhance the support and develop the growth of student paramedics not only within Northern Ireland but right across the United Kingdom and Ireland. I feel that I am ready, experienced, eager and prepared to step up and be the voice of change in my region, to engage with student paramedics, and form excellent working relationships with the Student Council and the wider College of Paramedics organisation. 

Matthew Johnston 

There has never been as exciting a time as now to become a Paramedic in Northern Ireland. As we gradually transfer from organisational training regimes to degree accredited Paramedic education, Paramedic practice is only going to develop and grow. It is imperative that the next generation of Paramedics are supported throughout this journey and have a strong voice- that is why I am running for Regional Representative for Northern Ireland.  
After volunteering within St John Ambulance for a few years and working my way up to Ambulance Crew, and having previously studied sciences to A-Level, I always knew a career within pre-hospital emergency care is where my heart lay and was the driving force to me becoming a Student Paramedic.  
I am a 1st year Student Paramedic on the first ever BSc Hons Paramedic Science programme in Northern Ireland at Ulster University- and what a privilege that is. We are not only starting our new careers through this degree pathway, but shaping the future of paramedicine within our region. We have the opportunity to make real and lasting changes. The College of Paramedics Student Council is a platform that will allow all Ulster Students (current and prospective) to have a voice on a national stage.  
We are at the start of our journey, but through the development of relationships with fellow student members and the College as a whole, can ask questions, learn lessons from others who have done this before us, and ensure the future Paramedics of Northern Ireland have a strong working relationship with the College.  
As Student Regional Representative I would plan to do all I can to support my fellow students training in Northern Ireland. With this amazing opportunity comes a voice, and I feel it is vital we ensure that voice portrays the concerns and messages that those students within our region feel passionately about. Having went through the NI education and Student Finance systems, my experience will help in the battle for educational and financial parity with other regions represented by the college and ensure Northern Ireland get the same opportunities as every other district in the UK. 
I have extensive experience working in representative and management roles prior to my studies at Ulster. From 2019-2021 I had been working within the management team of a large hospitality group in Northern Ireland. At as young as 18 I was managing large teams in high pressured, corporate environments and consistently had to support the concerns of colleagues and staff at all levels.  
During my time at school I have worked in roles such as Class Rep, Head of Year, Mentor and School Ambassador. In 2017, through the Rotary Young Leadership Programme, I was awarded ‘Local’ and ‘District’ Young Leader of the Year and came Runner Up in all of Ireland. I feel these roles clearly demonstrate my ability to listen, to convey information and to lead from the front- attributes I would hope to apply to the role of Student Regional Representative.