The North West Air Ambulance Charity (NWAA) is launching an appeal for enthusiastic new volunteers to jump on board, as it begins to safely reopen some of its 14 charity stores following closure as a result of Covid-19, including its Blackburn shop, based at 395 Old Preston Road which will open on 16th June 2020.
As the charity prepares to open its Cherry Tree store doors again, as well as its eBay warehouse in Speke, it is seeking volunteers to play an important role in saving lives across the North West.
Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, the charity has kept in touch with its volunteering team to monitor wellbeing and ensure no one feels isolated or left behind.
One of the charity’s volunteers, Michael Waine, 37, Lytham, volunteers in the charity’s Lytham store and is excited to get back to helping the charity:
“Since joining NWAA as a volunteer, I have come a really long way. For many years, I’ve suffered with anxiety and depression, which prevented me from working. When looking for something to keep my mind focused, I decided to start volunteering. Joining the Lytham team has helped me to cope while helping others. The charity is really friendly and after being with them for over a year now, I would not want to be anywhere else. I’ve made good friends, and want to thank the volunteering team and the Lytham store for being such great support and welcoming me so warmly. Volunteering for this charity in particular is so rewarding and has made a huge difference to my life. I don’t where I would be now if I hadn’t joined, and I’m proud of the part I’m playing in keeping the crew in the skies.”
Operating seven days a week, 365 days a year, last year NWAA attended 2,466 missions each year, delivering emergency pre-hospital care to the most critically ill and injured patients across the North West. It does not receive Government funding, instead relying on public support and dedicated volunteers, who play an important role in helping the charity raise £9.5m a year to remain operational.
Helen Doward, NWAA’s head of volunteering, praised the volunteering team: “The last few months have been difficult for many charities, with Covid-19 forcing stores to close and suspending volunteering activity. The resilience our volunteers have shown in lockdown has been amazing though, with most of the team raring to get back to their roles once safe to do so. It’s been heartwarming to have volunteers continuing to show our charity and each other a great deal of support, despite not being able to volunteer.
“The charity has carefully planned out the phased reopening of our stores, ensuring social distancing is adhered to and installing clear till barriers to keep our teams and customers safe. With some of our existing volunteers unable to return for the time being, we’re looking for new people to join our Blackburn store.
“You’ll be supported by a brilliant team and in-house training, and we aim to help people get as much out of volunteering as possible, whether that’s learning new skills or meeting new people. It’s a great way to get involved in your community whilst donating your time to a truly life-saving service.”
The charity has 14 stores across the North West, including Longridge and Lytham. You can contact Helen and her team by calling 0800 587 4570 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org