This week, we are celebrating Volunteers’ Week here at KSS – and what better way to start than by saying a huge thank you to all our wonderful volunteers?
We really could not do what we do without the support of over 160 volunteers, who make a vital contribution in delivering our purpose of saving lives and ensuring the best possible outcomes from our patients.
From our committed Trustees who provide invaluable support, encouragement and guidance, to our fundraising volunteers who help to raise vital funds and awareness, we owe you all our heartfelt thanks and praise.
Volunteers’ Week (1st-7th June 2021), is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering.
Here, some of our volunteers share their experiences of volunteering for KSS:
John Dyne, Burgess Hill, West Sussex
“Since becoming a volunteer I have delivered many talks and enjoyed every one of them.”
“I have also managed collection boxes in the Mid Sussex/Brighton area; represented KSS at various events and shows; assisted in bucket collections and Mini/BMW raffles at stores, and, pre-pandemic, collected at Gatwick Airport. I also took part in the recent Thankathon to supporters of the charity.”
“I have met some amazingly dedicated people since becoming a volunteer with KSS. The ‘can-do’ and inclusive approach of everyone at KSS that I have had the privilege and pleasure to work with is truly inspirational. I always feel valued as a volunteer, including by those at the very top. What have been my highlights? Actually, everything that I have done for the charity. If through my fundraising or awareness presentations I have in any way helped to save a life or mitigate a long-term injury, then that gives me enormous satisfaction and pride that I am even in a small way, part of such a wonderful organisation.”
John Kenton-Page, Eastbourne, East Sussex
“I started volunteering with KSS because I knew about Air Ambulances from my flying days, and I had always been interested in medical matters.”
“I’ve met all sorts of people. On one occasion I went to a cycling club for young children. They’d raised £1,500, which blew me away. They had done it because one of their members needed help up on the Downs and the Air Ambulance came. Hearing that kind of thing really makes it all worthwhile.”
“I am proud to represent the KSS and I can’t wait to see what the next development will be!”
Nigel Baxter, Leatherhead, Surrey
“As a volunteer my main focus is giving talks to groups and of course during the last year that has been via Zoom. I enjoy both face to face and ‘virtual’ meetings, though it is so much better and friendlier to be able to meet the audience in person.”
“Where I live in Surrey seems to be under the flight path of many helicopters and those from KSS are usually low enough to distinguish! It makes you thankful that they aren’t coming to you, but sad that someone requires the amazing services of the doctors and paramedics that this truly wonderful charity provides.”
“I was very honoured to be involved in the day at Redhill when the charity, celebrating its 30th anniversary, was visited by HRH The Princess Royal and even more flattered to be part of one of the lines of volunteers to be introduced to her.”
“I’ve made some good friends amongst the volunteers and always enjoy visits to the bases, listening to the talks and generally finding out more about how the service works.”
Warren Porritt, Tonbridge, Kent
“In 2016 I was cared for by KSS following a road traffic collision when I was out riding my scooter.”
“Once I had recovered sufficiently, I had an uncontrollable urge to get involved in any way I could. I now have a vast amount of volunteering for KSS under my belt, including representing KSS at village fetes, cheque presentations, school talks, W.I. presentations, television and radio interviews, and proudly being personally introduced to HRH The Princess Royal as part of the KSS 30th anniversary celebrations in 2020.”
“I even managed to run the 2019 Paddock Wood Half Marathon for KSS, despite being told by my amazing medical team that I would never be able to participate in active sports again.”
Lauren Golden, Canterbury, Kent
“My son Charlie, then eight, was hit by a car when he was playing outside in our quiet residential street. South East Coast Ambulance Service arrived, quickly followed by the team from Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS), who cared for him before taking him to King’s College Hospital in London.
“He still has a lot of scars from his injuries, many of which he’ll have for life. His brain hasn’t fully recovered, so he has problems with his memory and lives with this hidden disability. Yet, without KSS and the team at King’s College Hospital, he wouldn’t be here at all. We went to meet the crew who saved him. But how do you say thank you for saving your son’s life? I try to support KSS in any way I can and that’s why now I volunteer and fundraise for them.”
Bridget Pepper, Joint Head of Volunteer Development, said:
“On behalf of everyone at KSS, a heartfelt thank you to all of our amazing volunteers. Your support is critical to our life-saving care and you are such an important part of Team KSS.”
“We always welcome new volunteers and, as we look to further develop our services to support our communities, will have many new exciting opportunities available. Our volunteers take on a variety of roles from store collections to looking after our static collection boxes, stewarding at events to giving talks. Please do get in touch with Amy Hamer (Joint Head of Volunteer Development) or myself.
To find out more, please visit https://www.aakss.org.uk/get-involved/volunteering/