4th Apr 2016
Did you know that London's Air Ambulance has around 2,000 small charity pots scattered all around London in various corner shops, newsagents and pubs? Small they might seem but each of the pots brings on average £50, which mounts up to an incredible £104,000 a year. The pots, of course, need to be regularly collected and replaced and this is where our volunteer drivers come in.
Born and bred Londoners Ted and Brian have been volunteering with London's Air Ambulance for more than five years now. When the former lorry drivers, who also previously worked together, explain how their experience helps them Ted says: “I grew up in Dagenham and Brian is from Walthamstow. We know all the backstreets and side streets of East London. It helps so much, makes travel time so much quicker, we always beat the sat nav.”
Ted explains about his reasons to volunteer: “London's Air Ambulance is a fantastic cause. You never know when you might need them. A couple of years ago a friend of my grandson had the unfortunate need to use London's Air Ambulance and it saved his life. The guys on the helicopter are real heroes, saving patients, but it takes money to keep it going. As little as we do, by collecting silly little pots, we are contributing to saving lives. What could bring us more satisfaction?”
Commenting on how enjoyable volunteering is, Ted adds: “It is a day out for us, we call it a jolly boy’s day out. We go out, we have a laugh and a joke between ourselves like we have done for the last 27 years. I enjoy it, and it is a fantastic cause, I will carry on doing it for as long as I possibly can.” Brian adds: I suppose it also has the benefit of keeping us fit, as we are both nearly 70. Helping a good cause gets us to move instead of sitting indoors and watching daytime television.”
“It is also a great way to connect with your local community. They know us now in our area, the shopkeepers and landlords are always very welcoming and friendly. Sometimes people even stop us in the street. A guy came to me once and explained that London's Air Ambulance saved his brother’s life, when he was in a bad motorcycle accident. You meet so many people in the community who come to talk to you and thank you, this is an amazing feeling.”