Wiltshire Publications

Westbury charity shop celebrates 20 years helping to save lives

Carrie Aldous with volunteers and Air Ambulance mascot, Wilber

WILTSHIRE Air Ambulance’s popular charity shop in Westbury has celebrated its 20th anniversary.

During this time the shop, in Maristow Street, has generated £1.7million, which has helped the helicopter and crew to save countless lives.

The 20th anniversary celebration comes just as Wiltshire Air Ambulance moved into its new headquarters in Semington (see story on page 7)

The shop was opened on 15th March 1998 by Dot Whitehead, a local woman who dedicated most of her life to voluntary work. Dot decided to raise funds for Wiltshire Air Ambulance after a family member was airlifted.

The shop was incredibly successful and after just two years, Dot expanded the shop into the premises next door.

Dot ran the shop, ably assisted by volunteers, for 14 years until she died in December 2012 at the age of 81. During Dot’s time the shop was independent of Wiltshire Air Ambulance, but after she died, the charity wanted to build on its success and took on the lease of the building and directly employed a shop manager, Dot’s granddaughter, Carrie Aldous, who joined in May 2013.

Carrie, who has lived in Westbury all of her life, said, “Nan always worried when she started the shop that it wouldn’t get the support, but it did, and it has raised a lot more money than she ever expected.”