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Tom Hughes, Volunteer Champion: Five things I MISS about Jersey

Tom Hughes, Volunteer Champion: Five things I MISS about Jersey

Friday 04 December 2020

Tom Hughes, Volunteer Champion: Five things I MISS about Jersey

Despite spending most of his summer in the island working at the Urgent Treatment Centre, 19-year-old first aider and volunteer champion Tom Martin Hughes is missing quite a few things about Jersey.

The Diana Award recipient moved to Florence in Italy in January to work for Gucci.

Here are the five things he misses most about home...

1. The ocean


Pictured: The Arno has nothing on St. Ouen or St. Brelade's views.

Living in Florence, my closest beach is Viareggio (Pisa), which is about an hour-and-a-half drive from Florence. Florence does have the river Arno flow through it, although it's not the same as visiting St. Ouen or St. Brelade.

Recently, I took a trip to the Adriatic Sea and it sounds strange but it was the first time I had smelt salt water in months. I think the ocean is something that has so many positive factors and living on an island like Jersey you take it for granted because you see it everyday.


2. (Home) comfort food

English breakfast.jpg

Pictured: "An English Breakfast always wins over a continental," Tom said.

Obviously, I can't say that having to eat Italian food is an awful thing. However, Pub Food is something that you cannot find anywhere and it's that type of home comfort that you miss when you can't have it.

I think Jersey has such an array of different restaurants from different nationalities - there is loads of variety. Even though Florence is a major Italian city - and with that comes a diverse population - the food is very much Italian.

Also, an English Breakfast always wins over a continental and you can't find one in Italy.


3. The lifestyle and culture

St Catherine breakwater

Pictured: Tom misses the laid back Jersey's lifestyle.

In my opinion, I find the Jersey pace of life fairly relaxed. Obviously, my previous job in the hospital is very different to a corporate environment, however, everyone is just a bit more laid back in terms of what's going on.

Whereas, in Italy, I feel it's a faster pace of life and living in a city, people always tend to be in a bit of a rush. However, Italian culture is amazing and I have loved getting used to it – I would prefer to start eating my dinner at the Jersey time of 18:00 - 20:00, not the Italian time of 20:00 - 23:00.


4. Healthcare


Pictured: Tom in one of the Italian ambulance vehicles.

In Italy, I have had the opportunity to go out with the Pubblica Assistenza, the Italian Ambulance Service and it has truly given me an eye opening perspective to how fortunate we are to have the health care we have in Jersey.

Recently, I visited a hospital and not only were the corridors lined with trollies with patients right next to each other; patients arriving by ambulance were brought into the Emergency Department via the waiting room, so everyone waiting could see everyone coming in whether they were non-urgent patients or those in cardiac arrest.

Also, the average price for a GP visit here is €100 around £90 so a big difference compared to Jersey’s £40-50.


5. Family and Friends


Pictured: Tom left his family at just 18.

Obviously, a huge thing about living abroad is missing family and friends. At 18, I went from living at home with my mum, dad and older brother to living alone in an apartment, which was a drastic change.

Therefore, not only do I miss the luxuries of dinner being cooked and washing being done but just having my family around to speak to.


Pictured: "I miss the friends I have made from the hospital and school".

The same goes with friends. I moved to Italy not really knowing anyone but now I have a really good friendship group.

However, I miss the friends I have made from the hospital and school as I have had those relationships for a long time.

READ MORE about Tom...

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First aid heroes awarded for reviving festival-goer

Award-winning volunteer to dedicate more time to anti-bullying work

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