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WILTSHIRE Air Ambulance is gearing up for an exciting summer – and the charity is looking for your help as it celebrates National Volunteers’ Week.

Could you volunteer your time to support your local air ambulance at fundraising events, by giving talks, helping with tin collections and much more?

Last year all the charity’s events were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, meaning a drop of around £500,000 in fundraising income. But with restrictions beginning to lift, a brighter summer awaits with lots of events planned. 

One of the charity’s long-standing volunteers, Ian Best, says it is one of the best things he ever decided to do. 

“Retirement in 2013 left a big hole so volunteering was an obvious way to do something useful and keep active,” he said. “I do whatever needs doing really, including attending events, bucket collections, cheque presentations and collection tin distributions. I’ve even done some gardening at the airbase.

“One of the things I am continually amazed and humbled by is incredible support of the people of Wiltshire and Bath; their generosity and support makes the role of the volunteer a real pleasure.”

Ian volunteers alongside his wife Lorna, who also supports the charity’s Emergency Awareness Training programme which teaches primary and secondary aged children basic lifesaving skills. He added: “At one event a young lady came up to me with tears in her eyes and said, ‘thank you, if it wasn’t for Wiltshire Air Ambulance my brother would have died. That didn’t just underline for me what an important job the charity does in saving lives, but it also helped me to realise that it isn’t just the patients that are saved but also the families and friends whose lives are affected as well.”

Wiltshire Air Ambulance is looking for volunteers across the county and in the Bath area, where Wiltshire Air Ambulance carries out more lifesaving missions than any other air ambulance resource. During 2020 Wiltshire Air Ambulance attended 80 incidents in the city and airlifted/assisted 86 patients to the Royal United Hospital.

WAA community relationship and volunteer manager Cas Loudon said, “We’re very grateful to the dedicated group of volunteers we already have, who are all very excited to be heading back out to events in the months ahead. However, we’d love to strengthen our group even further so if you think volunteering could be for you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.”

Find out more by visiting www.wiltshireairambulance.co.uk/volunteer