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Air Ambulance Week: I got a new career after volunteering

The need to have a little “me time” away from her four children led Joleen Mullins to volunteer as a helper in our local air ambulance charity shop in Oadby.

“I wanted to get out of the house and do something that fitted in with school hours so it was perfect,” she said.

Joleen had no retail experience but that didn’t matter. Her offer of help was gratefully received and she eventually became lead volunteer.

After two years she was appointed assistant manager at the Market Harborough shop and since then has worked her way up the charity’s retail ladder to the position of training manager at the Blaby shop, via a period as manager back at Oadby.

Joleen said: “Being part of the air ambulance charity as a volunteer or paid worker is like being part of a family. Everyone in the shops, including customers, are very friendly and the atmosphere is great. You meet new people all the time. It’s not like working!”

To mark Air Ambulance Week in September she is encouraging local people to support the charity by volunteering, donating goods for charity shops or organising a fundraising event.

She said:”The same two ladies stand outside our shop every morning waiting for us to open because they like it so much. They are great supporters of the local air ambulance, which receives no government funding. Hopefully we can attract many more in the coming weeks.”

The second Air Ambulance Week appeal takes place in September and the Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance needs the public’s help to make it a great success.

We’re looking for volunteers to come forward now for this major appeal which runs from September 17 to September 25. All we need is for people to give us an hour of their time to help save a life.

Members of the public can help us in all sorts of ways. Click here to find out more. You could become a street collector handing out yellow cross pin badges in exchange for donations or you could help organise collections.

By volunteering you would be helping us carry out more rescue missions – each of these costs £1,700 to fly and we need your help as we get no government funding.

Get involved as a volunteer during Air Ambulance Week by clicking here or call 08454 130999* to find out more about the service. You can also email

Every mission costs approximately £1,700 and on average we attend six rescue missions a day.

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