01st Jun 2023
Volunteers’ Week (1st to 7th June) is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering in their communities. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the fantastic contribution that volunteers make.
At KSS we are hugely thankful to over 150 amazing volunteers who help support our life-saving service.
Collectively they have contributed an incredible 4,300 hours over the last twelve months; helping with store collections, talks, cheque presentations and attending events.
David Welch our CEO says: “We are immensely grateful for all the support from our volunteers, who help us in so many ways. They really are an essential part of Team KSS and we could not do what we do without them. This week, and every week, I would like to thank each and every one of them for the vital part they have in helping us save lives across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.”
We asked some of our wonderful volunteers what it’s like volunteering for KSS:
Andy Bustin, who gives talks to community groups:
“I started volunteering because I was looking to do something with my time having retired from a career in local government.
At the time I had no personal connection with Air Ambulances but a few years later my brother-in-law required the services of another Air Ambulance after an accident, so I am only too aware of the fact that it’s a service any of us might need at any time.
The number one thing that surprises people is that we are a charity which depends on public support to do what we do. Most people can’t get their heads around that.”
Kaye Clark, who helps our reception team:
“I’m really enjoying learning how to deal with the many varied tasks and queries that come in and putting people in touch with the right member of the team.
From reception we get a clear view of the helicopter when it lands, and the crew always stop to pass the time of day as they come into the office.
Since I started volunteering, KSS has twice been called out to friends and neighbours in the area, which really brings home what the crews do. Whenever we hear a helicopter now, we always say is that us? It makes us very proud.”
Kel Bossey, a volunteer since 2014:
“As well as giving talks, I have done things like sell tickets for the car raffles and registered riders taking part in cycle rides.
I’ve enjoyed quite a few opportunities to speak to the pilots and medics over the years. They are always fascinating to talk to and very generous with their time.
Very quickly I learned that although the aircraft are fascinating, it’s the skills and equipment of the crews that are so important, and that we are so much more than a flying ambulance. That’s something I’m keen to get across to the people I speak to.”
Liz Gibson, who gives talks:
“I love volunteering for KSS because it is a charity that any of us could need at any time, and because volunteers are treated so well.
My background is in teaching and youth work, and I’m also involved in amateur dramatics, so I really enjoy going out to give talks.
I look after the box collections in my village here in West Sussex and I’ve also helped with quite a few bucket collections. The range of responses you get from the public is really interesting, but it’s always moving when someone whose family has been touched by KSS stops for a chat and makes a donation. It’s a reminder of why we are all part of Team KSS.”
Sally Fox, who has represented us at many events:
“I became a volunteer after retiring from the NHS. I needed something to fill the gap. I have found this volunteering for KSS, where you are making a difference.
My work with the NHS and my medical background helped me understand and appreciate what great care KSS provides and how we respond to emergencies.
It is essential that our patients are transferred to hospital as quickly as possible to ensure a good outcome. They are transferred by air or land ambulance and the general public don’t understand the difference or what treatments the crews are able to provide.”
Find out more about volunteering with KSS on our volunteering page