24th Feb 2014
I've always had an interest in Air Ambulance operations, mostly on the aviation side. I had some free time in the summer of 2012, and thought it would be nice to help a charity that provides an extremely beneficial service to those in London who may require it.
Initially I started off processing full donation pots with another volunteer - something that I still do today! In between I've done a variety of things, both office based and at events/collections. At one collection, myself and another volunteer raised just short of £600 in three hours, which was amazing!
The biggest highlight has probably been the variety of people that I've met since I started - you can see that everyone, regardless of their role, is passionate about keeping the service going and helping to expand it. Given my aviation background it is of course always nice to see the pilots out and about around London!
I am currently in my fourth year of a BA (Hons) Airline & Airport Management degree and my dissertation is actually based on the aviation side of the service - something that I would definitely not have been able to do without having become a volunteer!
Volunteering fits in well with studying as it is completely flexible - even if you can't do every week, an occasional weekday or weekend is still a massive help to the charity. I know that free time is precious, particularly if you are a student and have other commitments but collections in particular are spread throughout the week across London, so there will always be something regardless of the time you have available.
When you see the aircraft in your local park, in a car park or even somewhere like Trafalgar Square, you know that you've played a part in keeping the service going - and you never know who they might be going to help next. With the charity fundraising for a second helicopter, the need for volunteers is greater than ever - please consider it!