Lancashire-based Volunteer shares her experience in memory of her Husband

Published: 25th June 2024

Sarah Horne, a dedicated Volunteer from Blackburn, has shared her experience of volunteering with the North West Air Ambulance Charity (NWAA).

Sarah’s Husband, Russell was involved in a road traffic collision in 2006, where he was treated and taken to hospital by the crew at the North West Air Ambulance Charity. They flew him to Royal Preston Hospital and from there he went straight into theatre. Unfortunately, about three hours after the incident he sadly died.

Sarah said: “For us, the whole family, the fact that the air ambulance was there and picked him up so quickly, he was still conscious when they arrived, he would have known that they were there, he would have known that and felt safe. The North West Air Ambulance Charity is incredibly important because it’s very comforting to know that he had the best people with him and that he got the best medical attention as soon as possible.”

Sarah first began volunteering for the charity in 2011 and has been a vital part of spreading the charity’s message across Lancashire and the North West over the past 13 years. As a teacher at Blackburn College, Sarah spent a lot of time talking to groups of people, and as a volunteer, she’s been able to do a role that complements and utilises her skills from her working life.

Volunteer Sarah, dressed in a yellow t-shirt sat on a bench dedicated to her Husband Volunteer Sarah, stood under a North West Air Ambulance Charity gazebo at an event

Sarah also said: “I volunteer in honour of my Husband, he was killed six months before retirement and hasn’t had a retirement. I’m glad to spend my retirement usefully, supporting something as a family we feel is important. I’ve had so much fun, I would recommend it to anybody else. It’s been a wonderful, wonderful experience over the years.

“Nobody wakes up in the morning thinking I fancy a ride in a helicopter today. Nobody knows that they might need their service. NWAA provides this lifesaving service every day of the year for everybody, and I think that means that everybody has a responsibility to support the charity, to keep it going, because you don’t know when you might need it.”

Volunteering is one of the many ways to support the charity, and Sarah’s role in helping to raise awareness is vital.

Helen Doward, Head of Volunteer Engagement at the charity said: “Volunteers like Sarah help save lives every day. Sarah has touched so many people’s lives by sharing her story, she has inspired new donors, new volunteers and new supporters over many years, and we are incredibly humbled by her dedication. At NWAA, over 500 volunteers, just like Sarah, help us generate essential funds for our charity. By sharing their skills and giving us the gift of their time, they truly make a lifesaving difference.”

To find out more about volunteering opportunities with the North West Air Ambulance Charity visit nwairambulance.org.uk 

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