After an appalling tragedy, this teenager is now set to take on the world – Steve Cardownie

The sudden death of Faye Fulton’s dad left a big hole in her life, but she rediscovered her confidence through working as a volunteer with the charity Street Assist and is now set to travel the world doing first aid charitable work, writes Steve Cardownie.

By Steve Cardownie
Wednesday, 26th February 2020, 6:00 am
Faye Fulton and Street Assist director Neil Logan at he 2019 Forth Awards with comic Craig Hill
Faye Fulton and Street Assist director Neil Logan at he 2019 Forth Awards with comic Craig Hill

It was Christmas time in 2012 when Faye Fulton got the news that her father, Gavin, had been killed. Walking home from a works night out, a car mounted the pavement and mowed him down. Because he was due to take Faye and her sister Mia to a swimming gala early next morning he had left the do before it ended and met his fate at the hands of a driver who was later prosecuted and jailed.

Faye was devastated. Her father was devoted to the two sisters, who he took to swim-training sessions four times a week when most people would still be sleeping, and encouraged them to take up sports, giving them every assistance.

His death left a big hole in Faye’s life and she took a long time to recover.

Now 17, an S6 pupil at ­Drummond Community High School, she is preparing to take a year out and travel the world on her own, doing first aid charitable work in every continent bar Antarctica.

She told me that her father’s death left her short of confidence which she gradually regained by participating in squash, another sport introduced to her by her dad. A member of The Grange Club, she has represented Scotland at Under-19 level and plays several nights a week.

The main turning point for her, however, was signing up as a ­volunteer with award-winning charity Street Assist, which has been operational since January 2017. Working in ­partnership with Police Scotland, NHS Lothian and City of Edinburgh Council, it seeks to deliver a safe place for people to access during the busy night-time economy hours every Friday and Saturday from 10pm to 4am.

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The project supports the emergency services within Edinburgh along with providers of night-time recreational activities to reduce vulnerability and also the number of people presenting at A&E due to intoxication or minor injuries.

Street Assist is delivered by ­volunteers who contribute to the city’s Community Safety Agenda, making Edinburgh a safer city for its citizens and visitors, where all people can enjoy its nightlife free from harm.

Faye heard about the organisation from a nurse at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and immediately set about becoming one of the 180 volunteers it has on its books. Encouraged by her mum, Faye took a particular interest in administering first aid to the extent that she has now been offered a place at St Margaret’s University where she will study paramedic science on return from her travels.

She regularly helps to staff the two Street Assist vehicles which operate through the night at the weekend, sometimes starting at 10pm and not finishing until 7am or 8am. Neil Logan, director of Street Assist, said that some of the volunteers already work within the emergency services/care and medical professions, while many are students who wish to gain valuable experience and skills in dealing with the general public with a view to joining the emergency services.

He told me that “with increased funding and new partnerships, we aim to increase the number of training opportunities available to our volunteers, to include first aid, KeepSafe, mental health first aid, personal safety, bystander interventions, crime scene awareness and the administration of Naloxone which has been proven to save lives of people who have taken drugs.”

Faye has since become an invaluable member of the team and Neil told me that her dad would have taken great pride in how she has developed as a person and a volunteer.

He said: “The transformation has been amazing, from someone who was lacking confidence to now take on the exciting task of travelling the world on her own is nothing short of remarkable.”

Tomorrow evening Street Assist is challenging for two awards at The Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2020 ceremony at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

Well deserved, it is down to the hard work and dedication exemplified by Faye and mirrored by the whole team that has achieved this recognition.

Here’s hoping that it will be a ­successful night, but in any case, Street Assist will be seen on the streets of Edinburgh for a long time to come, offering aid and safety to those who, for whatever reason, are in need of it.