Eyes on EHAAT: Life of a Volunteer
2 June 2018
Di Leggett has been a member of the Volunteer Team at Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) for over 14 years. This month we caught up with Di whilst she was helping out in the office to find out about her time as a Volunteer.
14 years ago, London’s Air Ambulance saved the life of Di’s brother-in-law at the time after a serious motorbike accident on the M11. In the same period, Di and a club she belonged to were audience to a talk from one of our existing Volunteers, Lesley. Lesley explained the life-saving work of, at the time, Essex Air Ambulance, and it was from that moment that Di wanted to find out more and become a Volunteer for her local Air Ambulance.
Since then, Di has watched the Charity grow and evolve into ‘Essex & Herts Air Ambulance’.
‘When I first started there wasn’t a Doctor on board, we’ve moved offices, and it’s just been wonderful to be part of that evolution and to see now what a fantastic life-saving operation the Charity is.’
Last year, Di was shortlisted for ‘Volunteer of the Year Award’ at the Association of Air Ambulance awards. Alongside EHAAT Volunteer Sue Akers, Di was recognised as being a huge part of the EHAAT team, put forward by CEO Jane Gurney.
‘The evening was wonderful and very special. Quite embarrassing when your picture is up and they are all talking about you!’
Di is a keen Volunteer at a number of different events hosted by the Charity as well as a huge support to the office administration of the Events and Volunteer Team. When asked which event was her favourite, Di couldn’t decide!
‘I love working at the Motorcycle Run, it is always déjà vu. I used to work at Dunton which is the starting point and it truly is an amazing thing to see the thousands of bikers leave together on the Run. I also do the bouquets for Strictly Air Ambulance which I have done since the very beginning. I like to do the Heli Hounds Dog Walk too! Unfortunately that was cancelled this year due to weather but hopefully I will be able to come along in May. I’ve taken part in most of them over the years!’
Di also sits on the Volunteer Forum, acting as an important liaison between the Staff and the Volunteers. The Forum is a chance for Volunteers to raise any ideas that they want to put forward, as well as a chance to make sure that the two teams continue to work well together, tackling any issues that may arise.
The team of 300 Volunteers are vital to keep our fast growing Charity operational, we asked Di how she would encourage people to join the Team.
‘I’m trying to get my sister in to join us when she retires! I brought her in the other day to show her what we do. I would just say how important this life-saving service is and that everyone involved really are a friendly bunch. While you are meeting people you are helping people as well – it’s just fantastic’.
Would you like to join Di and the Volunteer Team? Get in touch today and see how you can support your local life-saving Charity.