Retirement is a crucial time in anyone’s life – and it can bring about starkly different reactions.

For some - as the final working day approaches - there is the sheer joy of ditching the nine to five. For others there is fear of the great expanse of time ahead.

For years they have been characterised by their work identity - “what do you do?” - and they might have derived self-esteem, worth or respect from their job.

The sudden loss of “valued” activity can feel like a bereavement and can leave some feeling untethered to their usual lifestyle.

If that’s you, and you’re entering a new age in your life, maybe you could consider taking time out – a sort of gap year – to enjoy your new-found freedom and think about what your future entails.

There is a world of opportunities out there, and it’s worth taking a while to work out what interests or excites you before you plunge headlong into the brave new world of unlimited free time.

For some, volunteering is an ideal way to fill part of your week, do some good for others and meet some fascinating new people from all walks of life.

According to a survey by the Royal Voluntary Service about two thirds of older people volunteer with at least two different charities – that's around 2.2 million people over the age of 60.

The vast majority (83%) said they volunteered because they believe it’s important to carry out charity work, while half of those polled said it gives them a purpose in life.

Some even said it gives them vital time away from their partner.

Whatever your reason, there is a charity out there to suit you.

Here at Wales Air Ambulance we have a variety of volunteering roles to suit your existing skills – everything from presenting and public speaking skills, to administration, helping out in our shops or joining our warehouse crew.

Whatever your personality – whether you like meeting new people or would rather sort out and price clothes stock – we’ve got a role for you.

You could also find yourself learning new skills, which is vital in retirement, and having new experiences that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

Staying active in retirement is fantastic for your physical and mental health and having an order to your week is often vital to people’s lives.

So, if you are toying with volunteering, or are just about to take the leap into retirement, why not find out more about what we have to offer here , or fill in the application form here.