Wiltshire Publications

Issue 498 – “If you want to enjoy life, then become a volunteer”

HAVING celebrated her 80th birthday last weekend, Westbury’s Wiltshire Air Ambulance shop manager, Dot Whitehead, says she will continue to help the charity for as long as possible.

Dot has been managing the shop since setting it up 14 years ago and during this time, the shop has raised over £1.5million for the appeal.
Prior to the air ambulance shop, Dot also spent around 21 years managing Westbury’s Red Cross shop, bringing her years of volunteering in the town to over 35 years.
Now, the air ambulance shop is more important than ever, as the Devizes store closed earlier this year, leaving the Westbury shop as the charity’s only retail outlet.
Dot said, “I enjoy life! I love meeting people; we’ve got some excellent customers in the shop, including regular customers who come in every week, if not twice a week. I enjoy meeting the public, and working with the girls here. We don’t count as bosses, we work as a team.”
Claire Kelly, county co-ordinator for the air ambulance and paramedic Steve Riddle presented Dot with a bouquet of flowers to help celebrate her birthday.
Claire said, “The Wiltshire Air Ambulance wishes Dot a very happy 80th birthday. Dot has so much energy and is an inspiration to us all. We are so proud to have such a successful charity shop in Westbury supporting the Wiltshire Air Ambulance. Dot and all her volunteers do a fantastic job running the shop, for many people the shop is a focal point of the air ambulance and very well supported by the local community.
“Dot however is very much in need of more volunteers to help her and the amazing dedicated team of volunteers continue their tireless work!”
Although the shop has been Dot’s main project, she has also volunteered for other projects in the town including a local lunch club and holidays with the blind association.
Dot said, “I’ve met some really lovely people through volunteering and I’ve met the Queen, Camilla, Duke of Kent, and the Pope – the one before this one.
“If you want to enjoy life then become a volunteer. It doesn’t matter what you do, just do something to help someone else!”