National Volunteers’ Week – Air Ambulance seeking volunteers

As part of the annual Volunteers’ Week (3 – 9 June), Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) is hoping to recruit new volunteers to help promote and represent the life-saving service in the community.

Volunteers provide invaluable support to the charity throughout the year, fulfilling many important and rewarding roles. From giving talks to local groups, clubs and schools about the charity’s vital work to attending a variety of fundraising events across the region.

The charity is seeking people who live across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and are interested in volunteering, regardless of how much time they can give.

In 2017, Dr Risto Talas, 55, from Portsmouth was involved in a road traffic collision with a four-ton truck. He broke nine ribs and his back in two places. His right lung collapsed from a flailing rib and another lacerated his liver. The steering wheel smashed his right femur. He was critically ill and needed urgent medical attention from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.

Risto is in his first year of volunteering for the life-saving charity and is keen to thank the team for saving his life.

A man in a field with two sheep

Risto said:

“I had heard of air ambulances but never thought I would be a beneficiary of such an important service. I am just absolutely and totally overwhelmed with positivity towards those who helped save my life.

“I want to give something back. Lindsay and I have been fundraising for the charity for the last seven years through our ‘Curry for ‘copters’ lunches and dinners, but only this year have I felt able to apply to join the volunteering team. With my physical difficulties after multiple operations on my femur and constant pain in my back and shoulder, I have limits on what I can achieve so a few hours here and there of volunteering will help me to achieve just that.”

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance CEO, Richard Corbett, added:

“Everyone has a different reason for volunteering. Whether your life has been directly affected by our service, like Risto, or your recent change in circumstance means you have time and energy to give, you can be sure that your skills, talent and time will help us be there for thousands of patients each year.”

Each volunteer is given a full induction as well as having access to the charity’s training programme. Uniform is provided and all travel expenses reimbursed.

The team attend an average of five missions per day, ranging from cardiac related incidents to road traffic collisions. Each mission costs on average £3,500, and the charity relies on the kindness and generosity from its supporters to raise vital funds.

For more information on how to get involved, contact [email protected] or visit