Volunteers Week falls on the 1st-7th of June every year. Our volunteers support us all year round in a variety of roles: collecting funds, raising awareness, servicing collection boxes, delivering talks and helping at events – just to name a few!

Volunteers are a vital part of our charity and we appreciate all the time, support and dedication they donate to our cause. We simply couldn’t do what we do without them, so thank you from us all!

Below, two of our volunteers share the reasons why they choose to give their time so generously.

Anita Townsend – Why I Volunteer

Anita Townsend

I had first contact with Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance when their helicopter landed in a field nearby to my house to attend to my husband one Friday afternoon. He was already very disabled from a stroke and was feeling really unwell. Following a 999 call, I very soon had the Helimed Team arriving. I am sure the treatment they gave him on that day, extended his life.

The next contact I had, was when I saw a talk presentation at a Stroke Club in Wells. It sowed the seed of volunteering in my mind and I resolved to offer my services when I was free to do so. I was one of the first volunteers that Debbie Birtwisle, [Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance’s Supporter Engagement Officer] inducted following my contact with the office.

Volunteering gives me an opportunity to pay back for the care my husband received from all areas of the NHS. I have made new friends and discovered new skills along the way. As well as attended a wide range of events, and at one point I was servicing 80 collection boxes, filling in for others when they were unable to help. This really helped me build new contacts for the Charity in and around my area. I also go to cheque presentations and deliver talk presentations to groups. This is probably the new skill I am most proud of as my self-confidence has improved so much.

I would recommend volunteering to everyone who has the time. You get back more than you give and I am proud to represent such a well-run, important charity.

Sue Woollam - Why I Volunteer

Sue Woollam

I was born in Ireland and left as a teenager to train as a nurse in England. I started my working life in Norwich and moved to London working for years in A&E becoming a Senior Sister in Barnet and finally a Nurse Practitioner in a walk-in centre.

I retired in 2011 and moved to the beautiful county of Dorset in 2014, which I love. In order to meet people and learn about my new home, I decided to join different groups, for example I joined the local bowls club with whom I play regularly. I also joined a choir and started volunteering for the British Red Cross and the National Coastwatch Institution at Hengistbury Head.

I saw that Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance were looking for volunteers, so I went along to find out what it was all about and signed up straight away.

I really enjoy attending events such as summer shows, hospital open days and our Coast to Coast event. Most of these take place in incredible locations which mean that I not only have a great experience helping the Charity, but I also get to see new places.

As a volunteer, we are also very lucky to attend days at airbase where we get to see the Critical Care Team doing what they do best, learning about their work and seeing ‘Peggy’ flying in and out. It’s an absolute privilege to be part of such a great team!

Interested in becoming a volunteer?

We have volunteering positions available, apply today.

Apply to become a DSAA volunteer today