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Derbyshire volunteer honoured with platinum award from lifesaving charity

Saying thank you is the theme of Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June), when charities and organisations celebrate the unpaid work done by millions of volunteers across the UK.

Volunteers are the heartbeat of the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance’s (DLRAA) charity. It could not operate its 24/7 frontline services and continue to save lives without the support of its dedicated volunteers – such as DLRAA volunteer, Richard Fletcher.

Richard– from Belper, Derbyshire – has been volunteering for the lifesaving charity since 2011, wanting to help the service continue to save lives.

Since Richard began volunteering for the vital charity, along with his mum and sister, he’s brought in an astonishing £450,000 for the lifesaving service through collection tins, talks to local groups, collecting legacy donations, attending cheque presentations, taking part in community events, bucket collections and helping with the annual events.

“I devote thousands of hours to this charity alone each year and my journey has been amazing. My focus now is being a Community Representative for DLRAA, and my role is really varied,” said Richard.

“I’m also a Volunteer Group Leader where I co-ordinate a group of volunteers and proactively create a calendar of events, within a geographical area, to raise funds and awareness for the charity,” he added.

Richard – along with all the charity’s volunteers – will be celebrated and thanked by the charity during this year’s Volunteers’ Week which also coincides with the charity’s celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

He will be presented with a platinum award for his incredible contribution and will be invited to the charity café tea parties and receive a special Jubilee mug- to mark the regal milestone.

“One of my proudest moments being with the charity was being chosen to be part of their Parliamentary Dinner Celebration for DLRAA 10th Anniversary event which was at the Houses of Parliament,” expressed Richard.

Although Richard and his family have had the good fortune of not needing the services of DLRAA, they chose to support this charity as it can have such a positive and profound impact on the lives of people in the local community.

“We have discovered over the last 10 years, that there are a lot of people who are thankful the air ambulance was there to help them and that they are still here to share their story. That is the reward of volunteering that money can’t buy,” Richard added.

Head of Volunteering for the charity, Sue Haslett commented: “Our volunteers help in a variety of different ways across the charity, whether they’re raising funds out in the community, supporting in our offices or warehouse, delivering projects, or helping in our shops – every hour that they give makes a difference.

“We couldn’t operate without them, and I’d like to say a big thank you to Richard for his incredible dedication, and to each other volunteer for their ongoing support which helps us to save lives.

“We hope our volunteers enjoy the Jubilee celebrations. Every one of our volunteers already wears a crown, which they should wear with pride, as they are our volunteer royalty.”

The charity hails over 1,200 dedicated volunteers – and with over 50 different volunteering roles- it’s always looking for more people to donate their time or expertise.

“Being a volunteer for the charity I am fuelled by a sense of pride and achievement every time I see the helicopter out and about, knowing that every tin I empty, every event I attend, each bucket I hold, and every talk I give, fuels our helicopters, and supports our crew in saving lives.

“I would recommend volunteering to everyone, so please join me on the voyage of a lifetime where you will discover the joys of volunteering. If it is an organisation close to your heart or shares your passion and values, volunteering will never feel like a chore,” concluded Richard.

Read more about our volunteering opportunities here.