Support life-saving work of Essex & Herts Air Ambulance by volunteering in Hitchin charity shop

PUBLISHED: 11:18 31 May 2018 | UPDATED: 17:22 31 May 2018

EHAAT’s Hitchin shop being officially opened on May 16 by Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire Paul Brenham MBE DL, Jane Gurney (CEO of EHAAT) and former patient Nikki Duffy

EHAAT's Hitchin shop being officially opened on May 16 by Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire Paul Brenham MBE DL, Jane Gurney (CEO of EHAAT) and former patient Nikki Duffy

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Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) is celebrating the 'vital role' of its many volunteers during Volunteers' Week - and is encouraging more residents to donate their time.

EHAAT’s Hitchin shop needs more volunteersEHAAT’s Hitchin shop needs more volunteers

EHAAT could not help the critically ill and injured without the support of volunteers, explains Jen Wall, volunteer and events lead at the charity.

“From helping at fundraising events to working in our shops, volunteers play a vital role in helping us raise the money that enables us to carry out our life-saving work.

“Our existing volunteers do a fantastic job, but we are always keen to hear from people with some time to spare.

“We can use existing skills and help develop new ones. Volunteers help us collect tins, marshal at our big events, assist with administration tasks and give airbase tours. There’s a role to suit everyone.”

The new Hitchin shop joins other branches in Royston, Buntingford, Mersea, Burnham, and WarThe new Hitchin shop joins other branches in Royston, Buntingford, Mersea, Burnham, and War

Lesley Greensmith has been a volunteer in several of EHAAT’s shops, and currently works three afternoons a week at the Buntingford shop.

She explains her reasons for getting involved.

“When I retired I was wondering what to do to keep myself active. I wanted to give something back. I really enjoy working in the shop. Everyone is very friendly.

“The Air Ambulance saves a lot of lives and costs a lot of money to run. I’m keen on horses and I know of at least one case close to where I live that the Air Ambulance had to come out to help a rider who had fallen off.”

Lesley says particularly enjoys meeting customers.

“We have quite a few regulars, and it’s good when you get to know people.

“Quite a few interesting items get donated. Only recently a really nice guitar came in. We had lots of fun when one customer who knew how to play it dropped in and started singing some songs!”

Retired teacher Bronwyn Martin, who currently works in EHAAT’s recently-opened Hitchin shop has been a volunteer for five years, and had special reason for getting involved with the Charity.

She explained: “One of my sons was one of the first paramedics on the Herts aircraft. I promised him when I retired it was one of the things that I would do.

Bronwyn says she was struck by the lengths that some people go to help out.

“Two retired ladies filled their trollies, and came from the other side of Hitchin by bus to donate. It’s amazing what people do, they really do go out of their way!”

Hitchin Shop manager Romyla White adds: “I need more volunteers, there is always something to do here!”

Volunteer with EHAAT by registering your interest or by calling 0345 2417 690.

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