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A&E nurse volunteering for six months in Philippines clinic

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A nurse has swapped the blue lights of A&E for a summer volunteering with a charity in the Philippines.

Harriet Lawrance, 24, who is a staff nurse in the emergency department at Southport hospital, is working for the E-CARE Foundation in Benguet, six hours drive north of the capital Manila.

The church-founded charity supports self-help by local communities so they can move away from simple economic survival or subsistence to self-reliance and sustainability.

“I’ll be working for six months in the local clinic and with the farmers involved in the charity,” said Harriet, who is a member of Holy Trinity Church in Southport.

She is living underneath a barn with electricity available for only part of the day and no running water.

“I’ve always wanted to work abroad. Working in Benguet should give me a new perspective on life while helping people along the way.”

For half the time she work the farms, writing reports to help the workers manage their finances to become self-sufficient. The other half is spent in the clinic with three other nurses that cater to around 2,500 people.

“We provide maternity care, minor injuries, minor surgeries and dental care. The equipment is very basic and due to cost they cannot afford basic equipment. Gauze comes wrapped in newspaper,” said Harriet.

“There is no NHS here and I am coming to terms with how people choose which care or treatment they will have or not have.

“The people here are wonderful and their sense of community and care for each other is inspiring. They have made me so welcome.”

After completing her six months in the Philippines, Harriet will travel in Australia before returning to Southport hospital.

The former student at Edge Hill University in Ormskirk then wants to study to become an advanced nurse practitioner while continuing working in A&E.

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