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Warwickshire’s volunteering father-daughter duo thanked by 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 Air Ambulance Service’s charity. It could not operate its 24/7 frontline services and continue to save lives without the support of its dedicated volunteers – such as Warwickshire’s Emily Burgess, one of the charity’s youngest volunteers.

Emily (14) volunteers at the local Rugby charity store alongside her father Stuart, where she helps sort through all the donations and enjoys designing and dressing the display window.

“I really look forward to volunteering each week and I feel really appreciated. I chose The Air Ambulance Service as it saves people’s lives and I think that’s important. Also, my dad works for the charity, so I knew all about their vital work from him,” says Emily.

Emily is the daughter of Stuart Burgess who works for the local lifesaving charity – and proud of the difference it makes to people’s lives.

Stuart originally joined The Air Ambulance Service as a volunteer himself, in January 2018, due to redundancy from a previous employment.

“I was immediately made very welcome, and my contributions were truly valued. In March 2018 I applied for an advertised job, and then secured the permanent employed position,” says Stuart.

“I’ve now been employed for over three years and I’m very proud to work for this amazing organisation,” he adds.

Despite now being a member of staff, Stuart has continued his volunteering at the Rugby shop every Saturday morning where he sorts through the donations, steaming clothes and preparing them for sale.

Inspired by her dad, Emily in turn wanted to help the local lifesaving charity.

“My initial reaction was that she was too young to volunteer, shortly followed by a very proud dad moment. Fortunately, the volunteering team were very supportive, and they organised for Emily to join me every Saturday on the basis that I could be responsible for her,” says Stuart.

“I am very proud of Emily, not only does she volunteer for a great cause, but she also enjoys it and, she’s just glad to be supporting the charity which saves so many lives across Warwickshire and further afield.

Being a volunteer has taught Emily a lot about the organisation, how a charity store operates, helped her develop skills and confidence, and highlighted the important role of a volunteer.

Emily and Stuart – 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 they make.

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, like Emily and Stuart.

“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 each and every volunteer for their ongoing support which helps us to save lives.”

The Air Ambulance Service want to provide volunteers with a fulfilling and satisfying experience that comes with a range of benefits including new skills, increased confidence, friendships, and the opportunity to make a difference to people in need.

For those wishing to join the volunteering team, please click here.