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Volunteering in Derbyshire to thank the local air ambulance 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.

But some individuals give up their free time to volunteer as their own thank you for what has been done for them.

One such person is Kevin Snodgrass from High Peak, Buxton who was airlifted by Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance after he fell four metres onto a hard concrete surface, was knocked unconscious and broke his pelvis, 19 ribs, and three bones in his back when he was shutting the lids on top of his tanker after filling it with hydrated lime at Hindlow Quarry.

“I don’t remember anything after being on top of the tanker. I lost four days of my life, but I am still here, still waking up every morning and I know it’s because of the air ambulance. My surgeon said I wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for them,” he says.

The air ambulance doctor and critical care paramedic who attended the scene of the accident – in August 2019 – sedated Kevin before he was flown to The Northern General Hospital in Sheffield. The flight took just 11 minutes.

During his 18 day stay in hospital, Kevin decided he wanted to organise an event to raise funds for the local air ambulance, which receives no government funding and relies totally on donations to remain operational.

With the help of his friend Trish Lee from New Mills, he organised a Fun Day to be held on Easter Monday 2020 – but due to the Covid-19 crisis, it had to be cancelled.

Kevin now plans to hold the event on Sunday the 29 of August at Chalker’s Pool and Snooker Club in New Mills and is now also planning a sponsored body waxing event – which he hopes will be able to go ahead later this year as restrictions continue to be relaxed – and organises other fundraising initiatives which have raised around £850 to date.

It has been very frustrating for Kevin (70) not to be able to fully immerse himself in fundraising for the local air ambulance because of the pandemic but he is looking forward to getting much more involved in the future.

He says:

“I’ve decided to give something back as I want to say thank you for what the local air ambulance did for me. I wouldn’t be here without them.

“Before my accident, I had seen the air ambulance a few times, but I never expected to be airlifted myself.  I really appreciate the wonderful job they do. Unlike the ambulance and fire services they receive no funding so if people don’t support the charity the helicopters will not keep flying lifesaving missions.”

Kevin- along with all The Air Ambulance Service’s volunteers – will be celebrated and thanked by the charity during this year’s Volunteers’ Week, for the difference he makes.

Head of Volunteering for the charity, Sue Haslett adds:

“This Volunteers’ Week, The Air Ambulance Service is celebrating the fantastic contribution of all our volunteers.

Kevin, along with our other volunteers, helps in a variety of different ways across the charity and we couldn’t operate without them.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to Kevin – and all our Derbyshire Volunteers – for their ongoing support which helps us to save lives.”

To find out more about how you can join the air ambulance volunteering team, please click here.