Joanne Joveini, Director & Lead Trainer at Act Fast First Aid
Helping schools and universities meet their first aid requirements by providing qualifications, bespoke training and ongoing support
I had my children quite young and I’ve been a single mum for many years. In order to best support them I chose a career in Further Education teaching English, as I could take full advantage of the paid holidays.
Five years ago, my morale was at rock bottom following yet another restructure at the college I was working at. The girls were growing up and I needed a back-up plan in case my job was the next to go…
I’d taken up canoeing as a hobby when the girls were younger and became super-passionate about it – going on to gain lots of leadership and coaching qualifications; being on the water is a great outlet. My friend, who delivered outdoor first aid to students at Cambridge University, suggested I give it a try. I had the necessary teaching background, so I devoted a couple of months to training in Cambridge – passing all mandatory tests – and then set up a virtual centre in Hull.
The decision to retrain provided the contingency I’d been searching for – and since launching Act Fast First Aid in 2015, the business has steadily developed. Today, I’m on a mission to create a nation of young life savers – having created the Act Fast First Aid Challenge for schools, where pupils can learn vital skills such as CPR in a fun and interactive way. The business has won four awards – including a Theo Paphitis ‘Small Business Sunday’ accolade for the challenge, which I’m incredibly proud of.
As well as my aim to go national with the first aid venture, I also keep busy running a company named Socialise & Mingle®, where I create laugh-out-loud card games designed to break the ice! The original game, which was launched in 2017 and has now won five awards – including the Theo Paphitis award (I’ll meet him in February to collect them both!) – poses challenges to players so they can meet like-minded people in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. It was important to me to expand the range, so I now have Socialise & Mingle games for hen parties, weddings, dating and a special ‘Rainbow’ edition where a percentage of the profits are donated to local LGBTQ charities.