Volunteers are the beating heart behind Yorkshire Air Ambulance, ensuring the vital funds required to keep the Charity’s helicopters flying across Yorkshire and saving lives.
With 165 active volunteers, each one plays an indispensable role in enabling the emergency service charity to have a presence within local communities, helping to spread awareness of Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s vital mission right across the county.
This year alone, our volunteers have attended over 728 stalls, delivered 72 informative and interactive talks with people and groups of all ages, hosted over 75 bucket collections and emptied over 1500 collection tins.
Throughout this blog, volunteers at Yorkshire Air Ambulance share their personal motivations and experiences of their volunteering journey, whilst also offering compelling reasons why becoming a volunteer for YAA can not only have a significant impact on the lives of others but also change your own life in profound ways.
Knowing that you are aligning your values and passions with a worthy cause is a remarkable feeling that can bring immense joy and fulfilment. By volunteering and contributing your time and skills, you are contributing to the life-saving missions carried out each day, consequently helping to save the lives of those in need of emergency care.
Volunteers often have a strong desire to make a difference in the lives of others. Whether it’s providing support, assistance, or resources, your involvement can help save lives and provide comfort to those facing critical situations. Your dedication can make a lasting impact on individuals and their families.
Volunteering offers a fantastic opportunity to connect with people from all walks of life that you may typically never meet in your everyday social circle. Yorkshire Air Ambulance provides a supportive community where you can form meaningful relationships with fellow volunteers, staff members, and the people you meet. By expanding your social networks and fostering a sense of belonging, volunteering becomes an enriching experience.
Volunteering serves as a platform for skill development. Yorkshire Air Ambulance volunteers have the opportunity to be involved in a range of different activities ranging in responsibilities. Roles can include organising events, fundraising activities, or teaching others, and public speaking that allow you to acquire new skills or enhance existing ones. This practical experience not only benefits the charity but also equips you with valuable competencies that can be applied to your personal and professional life.
If you’re looking to advance your career, volunteering can provide a significant boost. By gaining unique experiences, you can enhance your resumé and stand out to potential employers. Moreover, volunteering offers networking opportunities and demonstrates your commitment to social responsibility, making you an attractive candidate for future career opportunities. Volunteering is also an excellent way for students to gain work experience.
Rob Scott, worked as a dedicated volunteer for Yorkshire Air Ambulance for 4 years, organising and supporting many YAA events including his own annual car rally to Benidorm in aid of YAA. His incredible volunteering experience motivated him to seize the opportunity and transition into a full-time role as a community fundraiser, joining the Yorkshire Air Ambulance team with enthusiasm and commitment. He said, ‘Volunteering for YAA has been one of the best things I have ever done as it started my fundraising career with the Charity. Knowing I am now able to wake up each morning and make a meaningful impact with such an important charity brings me huge joy – no two days are ever the same!’.
Making a Positive Impact
Volunteering empowers you to address social issues and contribute to positive change in society. By joining forces with like-minded individuals, you can play a vital role in helping save lives and making a lasting positive impact on your community.
Learning about Different Cultures and Perspectives
Volunteering often involves interacting with diverse populations, communities, and cultures. Yorkshire Air Ambulance provides a platform to broaden your understanding of the world, develop empathy, and appreciate different perspectives. This exposure to diverse cultures can expand your horizons and contribute to your personal growth.
Yorkshire Air Ambulance fosters inclusivity through its ‘Building Bridges’ initiative, bringing together individuals from minority groups on a regular basis to strengthen connections and promote a sense of community.
Overcoming Personal Challenges
Volunteering can be a transformative experience, helping you overcome personal challenges or difficult life experiences. Yorkshire Air Ambulance offers a sense of purpose, structure, and focus, allowing you to regain self-confidence. By helping others, you can find healing and strength in your own journey.
Shane Wheatley, struggled with low confidence in social situations, however, since joining YAA as a volunteer in 2022, working in the Leeds city centre pop-up shop, he has flourished, coming out of his shell and making friends along the way. Reflecting on his experience, he said, “Volunteering has helped push me out of my comfort zone and connect with people when they visit the store. Now, I look forward to meeting new people and chatting about the YAA’s vital mission’.
Giving Back to the Community
Many individuals have a strong sense of civic duty and a desire to give back to their communities. Volunteering allows you to invest your time and effort into causes that directly benefit your local neighbourhood and make a positive impact on society. By giving back, you become an integral part of a thriving and compassionate community.
Gordon Wheatley is one of the YAA’s longest-serving volunteers, who initially signed up after seeing the Helicopter land and attend to a patient on Harrogate’s Stray, reminding him of the time his brother was airlifted, injured during his military career. Gordon recalls how this poignant personal reminder encouraged him to give back to his community, knowing anyone could need the YAA at any point. He said, ‘Meeting local people at the events we host that have been attended by our crew is one of the highlights of this job, seeing how grateful they are for our work and how much the community support the cause makes me proud to be a part of it’.
Personal Growth and Self-Discovery
Volunteering is a catalyst for personal growth and self-discovery. Stepping outside your comfort zone, you can develop new perspectives and learn more about yourself while contributing to the well-being of others. It’s an opportunity to challenge yourself, embrace new experiences, and unlock your full potential. At YAA you can commit to as little or as much time as you are able to spare – volunteering is entirely flexible to fit around your life.
It couldn’t be easier to sign up to become a Yorkshire Air Ambulance volunteer, simply fill out our online application form, providing the relevant details, your interests, and availability.
Once your application is reviewed, a representative from Yorkshire Air Ambulance will contact you with further information, and organise a volunteering taster session, where you will join the team and take part in a real YAA event, so you can experience volunteering before committing.