Wales Air Ambulance issues appeal for support during National Volunteers’ Week Wales Air Ambulance Charity is appealing to the public to become volunteers for its lifesaving charity. Volunteers don’t get paid – not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless! Never before has that phrase meant so much to the Wales Air Ambulance. The Charity needs volunteers more now than ever, after a difficult year during the coronavirus pandemic. This week (June 1-7) is National Volunteers’ Week and, like many charities, Wales Air Ambulance relies on volunteers to support its fundraising activities. Without volunteers the charity would simply not be able to carry out its crucial life-saving role. Several thousand people have volunteered for Wales Air Ambulance, at various points, over the past 20 years. Together with the Charity’s committed staff, they have helped raise the £8 million needed each year to keep the ‘flying medics’ in the air 24/7. The Charity, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in March, is extremely grateful to all its volunteers who give up their time, whether that is 1 hour a week or 20 hours. There are numerous roles undertaken by volunteers. This includes support within shops and warehouses, at community and fundraising events and with the Charity’s transport teams. Michelle Morris, the Charity’s Head of HR and Volunteering, said: “Volunteers’ Week provides us all with the opportunity to take some time to reflect on the outstanding help and support that our volunteers provide to us, whether they help us in our shops, warehouse, attend community-based events or support our administration functions, the gift of their time is duly recognised, and it is always appreciated. “We need volunteers now more than ever, and are asking the public to help support our lifesaving service, whether that’s for one hour a week or one hour a month. Any time given to the charity is much appreciated and essential to help keep our four helicopters in the air. “Like many other organisations, the COVID-19 pandemic presented several challenges to us, we had to suspend our community events, close our retail, warehouse, and café operations, all of which were fantastically supported by our volunteers. I thank all our volunteers’ for their understanding and patience during this difficult time and we look forward to welcoming new and present volunteers back over the course of the next few months. “The dedication, contribution, and commitment that our volunteers show is overwhelming, and it is something that we will always be grateful for; we could not continue with our life saving work without them.” Volunteer Graham Hirst has been with the charity for over 13 years, he said: “I started in the warehouse in Llansamlet when we had one helicopter and two porta cabins at Swansea Airport. I’ve enjoyed every minute and over the years worked with some very dedicated people and been proud to have been involved in the growth of Wales Air Ambulance to what it is today.” To volunteer for the Wales Air Ambulance you must be aged18 or over. Volunteering opens the doors in many different ways, it can help people get vital experience to add to their CV, as well as meeting new people, gaining confidence and new skills. If you are a student or unemployed, volunteering can be a great way to gain experience, learn new skills and give future employers a valuable insight into your personality. Bosses value volunteers as outgoing, forward-thinking team players who have a selfless attitude towards helping the community. The Wales Air Ambulance could provide a valuable reference to your prospective employer – and the Charity has even been known to take on its own volunteers as staff. If you are retired, volunteering can be a fantastic way to expand your friends network. You might be able to utilise skills learned in your career or take on new tasks and challenges. For those of working age volunteering can be an escape from your normal grind or even a short break from the family! Whatever your circumstances, volunteering can be great for your mental health. It is flexible and can be fitted in to whatever number of hours you are able to give. If you’re interested in finding out more about volunteering opportunities with the Wales Air Ambulance, you can email Volunteer Coordinator Sandra Hembery for an application form via [email protected] or download an application form here. There are several ways that the public can continue to support the Wales Air Ambulance. These include online donations, signing up to the Charity’s Lifesaving Lottery or by coming up with their own innovative ways to fundraise at home. Further information can be found via www.walesairambulance.com. Alternatively, a £5 text-message donation can be made by texting the word HELI to 70711.