Volunteer from Northamptonshire receives platinum award from vital 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 Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance’s (WNAA) charity. It could not operate its 24/7 frontline services and continue to save lives without the support of its dedicated volunteers – such as WNAA volunteer, Shirley Richards.
Shirley (79)– from Bugbrooke, Northamptonshire – has been volunteering for the lifesaving charity since 2007, wanting to help the service continue to save lives.
“In 2007 my husband, Charlie, and I had been raising money for WNAA when we were asked if we would like to become volunteers, so we were interviewed and then signed up,” said Shirley.
“Our first event was a day at the Earls Barton Steam Rally, from then on we took part in all sorts of events which we thoroughly enjoyed,” she added.
Since Shirley began volunteering for the vital cause, she’s brought in an astonishing £79,524.38 for the lifesaving service.
Shirley – 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.
She will be presented with a platinum award for her long service and will be invited to the charity café tea parties and receive a special Jubilee mug- to mark the regal milestone.
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 Shirley for her 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.
“Volunteering was a great help to me when I was left on my own after Charlie passed away, I was able to continue to get out and about and continue to meet up with the volunteer friends we had made.
“I feel like I have a purpose after retirement, and I enjoy meeting and talking to so many different people and hearing stories of how they or someone they know has benefitted from our service. It’s also good to feel part of a team working for the same goal of keeping the helicopters flying and keeping the service in the forefront of the public’s minds to encourage their support,” added Shirley.