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International Women's Day: Kent women who work selflessly for the RNLI, Kent Police, South East Coast Ambulance and Kent Fire and Rescue


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As the world marks International Women's Day, it is a time for global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

Women are being celebrated in every field, but today we're looking at some of the women who have worked selflessly across the emergency services in Kent.

Natalie Adams is a full time Helm at Gravesend RNLI station
Natalie Adams is a full time Helm at Gravesend RNLI station

Natalie Adams is a full-time Helm at the RNLI in Gravesend.

The 30-year-old from Dungeness has worked for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution for the last four years but has been a volunteer since she was 18.

Natalie, who is also a volunteer crew member at Dungeness, said: "My role as a helm is to command the lifeboat and make sure the task at hand is dealt with safely and efficiently.

"I grew up on the water and with regards to joining the RNLI it was a matter of when I would join not if I would.

"My dad is a full-time Coxswain at the Dungeness station and this will be his 43rd year there.

Natalie Adams fundraising for the RNLI
Natalie Adams fundraising for the RNLI

"My brother is also a volunteer at Dungeness and my mum is the one that holds us all together!"

Natalie joined the Dungeness crew when she turned 18 and was a volunteer while she studied at university.

When she was 26 she decided to become a full-time helm at Gravesend's station.

She said: "My colleagues are brilliant, they don't treat me any different because I'm a woman on the crew.

Natalie fundraising with some of the Gravesend RNLI crew
Natalie fundraising with some of the Gravesend RNLI crew

"Being part of the RNLI is fun, from fundraising to rescues it's an amazing job and everyone on the crew is lovely."

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the largest charity that saves lives at sea around the coasts of the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man, as well as on some inland waterways, including the River Thames.

Natalie added: "A lot of women shy away from becoming an RNLI volunteer because they think it is all about physical strength but it's not.

"With all our kit and equipment there is so much more to the volunteering if you're interested in becoming a volunteer look online to become part of the RNLI."

In celebration of the female volunteers, Gravesend RNLI tweeted about their 11 crew members.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service have also been supporting International Women's Day.

Ann Millington, chief executive at Kent Fire and Rescue Service, said: “International Women’s Day is held to celebrate women’s achievement, and to take action for equality.

"Today is about celebrating the contribution of women everywhere, including the fire service, and we’re proud to support the day every year.

"As a public service, we have a passion for equality and diversity, and we’ll always be here for everyone.

"We support women across the service, in a range of roles - from firefighters, accountants, building safety inspectors, safe and well representatives and more.”

Ann Millington, cheif executive of the Kent Fire and Rescue Service
Ann Millington, cheif executive of the Kent Fire and Rescue Service

South East Coast Ambulance have been sharing the stories of their female workers and volunteers.

Dawn is a Consultant Midwife at SECAmb and has explained why making mistakes can help your future success.

She said: "I once asked a strong female leader I respected, how she got to be so good?

"Once she stopped laughing she simply said: 'I've been allowed to make some big mistakes, all of which I've learned from.'

"She was always inspiring and refreshingly honest. She allowed people to feel safe in their decision making.

Dawn is a Consultant Midwife at SECAmb. Picture: SECAmb Twitter
Dawn is a Consultant Midwife at SECAmb. Picture: SECAmb Twitter

"Don't fear failure, fear succeeding at something that doesn't matter."

Kent Police have also been sharing the achievements of their female employees on Twitter.

Temporary Chief Superintendent Samantha Price has been in the police force since 1996.

Samantha is a North Divisional Commander for Dartford, Gravesend, Medway and Swale, she said: "Kent Police is a well diversed organisation.

"I'm a mum of two and when I had to juggle work and motherhood my police family were so helpful."

Chief Superintendent Samantha Price from Kent Police
Chief Superintendent Samantha Price from Kent Police

The 47-year-old began her policing career when she finished studying medicinal chemistry at university.

Samantha wanted to go into the forensic field but when a policing job came up she took that role instead.

She added: "I began my career with the MET Police and worked through all the ranks until I joined Kent Police in March 2019.

"I never would have dreamed that I would have been where I am now 25 years ago, Kent Police have taken responsibility for my development.

"For women who are thinking about joining the police just remind yourself that you can do this, have faith in yourself and have confidence in your ability.

"I'm five foot tall and that hasn't stopped me! I've never experienced any judgement or sexism within the police force.

"I've had every opportunity everyone else has and my gender has never impacted my career and it saddens me that unfortunately others have faced those problems."

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