An accident and emergency sister who carried the Olympic torch yesterday has described the experience as “incredible” and a “privilege”.
West Middlesex University Hospital A&E sister Emma Harley, 27, carried the torch through Fulham on 26 July.
She said: “It was incredible. I got absolutely mobbed as I got off the torch relay bus. There were crowds of people cheering along my route with the police holding them back.
“My torch was actually quite light and the whole experience went by really quickly. My friends and family were there to watch me and it was an amazing atmosphere.
“It feels very surreal to be back at work in the emergency department. It was such a privilege to carry the Olympic torch.”
She was selected to be a torchbearer because of her charity work with street children and disadvantaged communities in Kenya.
Ms Harley takes a month of unpaid leave every summer to work as a nurse and supervise UK teenage volunteers for the Moving Mountains charity.
The charity’s Africamp project gives teenagers the opportunity to spend a month living like African children, running rehabilitation camps and helping to build schools, hospitals and orphanages.
Ms Harley flies out with around 50 teenagers and takes expired medical equipment from West Middlesex with her, which airlines agree to carry for free.
For the rest of the year she works in the hospital’s emergency department as a paediatric sister, and does extra night shifts to pay for her time away.
She was nominated as a torchbearer by Sarah Hunt, who said: “The British young people Emma takes to Kenya are hugely inspired by her leadership and example and often return to Kenya to volunteer.”