Meet Carla Ballington of Mini First Aid

Let’s hear a bit about your background. 

My Background is Paediatric Nursing where I worked as a registered nurse for 15 years.  My experience included working in the acute setting in my local hospital on medical and surgical wards.  I then went on to work at my local children’s hospice providing end of life and palliative care for children and young adults with life limiting conditions, from there I did school nursing and finally I worked as a neurology specialist nurse where I learnt lots about epilepsy.  


And what about your field of expertise? How did that come about?

My nursing role included teaching parents and carers basic life support skills which lead to my passion for teaching First Aid, consequently three years ago I decided take a career change into education and became a Freelance First Aid trainer. Thankfully I met the lovely Susan Dargie who owns the Leicestershire Mini First Aid Franchise and I’ve never looked back.  Susan worked hard to grow Mini First Aid leic’s whilst raising 4 children and now Susan works as a physiotherapist in the NHS so I recently took over the role in organising classes.  At Mini First Aid we teach 2-hour awareness classes covering CPR, Choking, bumps, broken bones, bleeds, burns, Febrile seizures, meningitis and the recovery position. We also deliver accredited courses such as First Aid at Work where learners can practice on training Defibrillator units and much more.  We work with all age groups teaching First Aid including in schools with kids and accredited courses for staff.


What do you most love about life?

Living, I think working in my local Hospice and losing close friends to the dreaded ‘C’ word has made me count my blessings, don’t get me wrong we all face challenging times and have bad days but now I appreciate the small things in life like the robins in the trees, the raindrops that just sit there on the leaves like glass beads and the sparkle on the grass when its frosty in the sunshine.  I started to notice these things when I got my Working Cocker Spaniel Buddy.  I love going out for walks listening to my favourite Band Bastille and listening to radio 2.


OK, so what about the not-so-good-bits?

Its hard to stay focused some times as we juggle and spins plates as parents. As a working mum I’m always torn between doing what I know I do best and I’m passionate about such as teaching first aid and balancing that with family life. When I’m struggling as a Self-employed Freelance worker financially, I start to drift as I feel I have no choice as the bills keep coming in, that’s when I start applying for jobs to make ends meet that I know will involve travelling up and down the country and a lot of responsibility.  I had a job interview last lockdown, I got to the second interview but never succeeded probably because it wasn’t meant to be, maybe my heart wasn’t in it.  Deep down I worry I will lose sight of those things that I’ve started to appreciate due to lack of time, but I guess its always good being open minded as that’s how I took that leap from nursing to being a First Aid Trainer.


What do you consider your greatest achievement?

When nursing I ran a nurse led clinic teaching parents about epilepsy, administration of rescue medication for prolonged convulsive seizures and basic life support skills, I really enjoyed this role.


What is your next big goal in life?

To develop my catalogue of courses I can teach and to continue to promote Mini First Aid through social media, I would love to get out into the schools teaching children First Aid more often when we are able to do so.


Coffee or herbal infusion?

Coffee all the way.


Dark, milk or white chocolate?



What word or phrase do you most overuse?



What is the most important lesson that life has taught you?

Don’t take anything for granted.


What is your work or business philosophy?

Offering relaxed, comfortable, quality Mini First Aid Classes to give learners the confidence to deal with medical emergencies.


What one piece of advice would you pass on to others?

Book a First Aid Class because you really never know when you may need it and the ambulance may take longer than you imagine to arrive.