BIRTHDAY BASH AT BLACKWOOD SHOP A Wales Air Ambulance charity shop has recently celebrated its successful first year of trading. The Blackwood shop located in the Market Place opened its doors for the first time a year ago and has enjoyed a very successful first year of trading. Blackwood shop manager Julie Mcroy said: “I can’t believe how quickly a year has passed. We’ve had a fantastic first twelve months. The shop really is proving popular in the local area and we have seen a flurry of donations from the kind people of Blackwood and the surrounding areas.” Opened to the public on November 30th 2017, Blackwood became the Charity’s sixteenth shop located in Wales. Commenting on the special occasion, retail area manager Donna Rogers said: “We are extremely proud of the team at Blackwood who have enjoyed a fantastic first year together. The success of the shop goes to show how supportive the local community are to our cause.” Wales Air Ambulance charity shops are supported by a team of dedicated volunteers who assist the shop managers and transport teams with the day to day running. Kathryn Humphrey was one of the first volunteers at Blackwood: “When I started volunteering for WAA, I was so quiet and reserved. After a few weeks, I felt more comfortable and started to come out of my shell. I have so much fun volunteering for Wales Air Ambulance, and it has helped my confidence immensely. “No two days are the same and I enjoy the variety it offers. I love chatting to customers and decorating the displays on the shop floor. I always look forward to volunteering at the shop, being there puts a smile on my face.” Julie added: “I would like to say a huge thank you to my assistant manager Lotte Fisher who is a great source of support. Our transport team Tony and Adam are also fantastic and have built up a great rapport with supporters in the local area. However, a special thanks must go to the amazing volunteers, without whom we wouldn’t be here today. Working with people like Kathryn, who selflessly give up their time is what makes working for Wales Air Ambulance so special. “We’re always on the lookout for new volunteers to help out at the shop. Anyone who is able to spare us some free time should pop in or give us a call.” For more information about volunteering call 01495 528 009.