Friday, 30 April 2010

Thanks to the volunteers

Sometimes you go out to cover an event, thinking it’s just another meeting to report on – but when you get there if brings a little hope into your life. You discover just how good the majority of people are.

Reading the news everyday – which is an occupational hazard as a journalist – you could start to think that you can’t trust anyone, and everyone is out for themselves.

Watching BBC1’s Crimewatch this week a reconstruction of a violent burglary in the village where we use to live left me feeling vulnerable. I couldn’t recognise the sleepy fellside village as the scene of a such a crime.

These things happen somewhere else, not in your neighbourhood where I often left my back door not just unlocked put open during the summer months.

But a ray of hope that the majority of people are caring, considerate humans came when I went to cover the AGM of Age Concern Appleby.

They run two charity shops in the town and every year donate thousands of pounds to local charities. Everyone works for nothing, as a volunteer.

Today they were giving the Air Ambulance, the Pride of Cumbria a cheque for £2,000 and Jan Hawkins who is the volunteer fundraiser came to give a talk.

The presentation wasn’t until after Jan’s talk so for the first time I listened to her talk about the charity and the service they provide. I was amazed to discover that she and her husband work a 70 hour week for nothing, because they believe in the Air Ambulance, and that all the doctors on the service pay for their own intensive and expensive training to be an air ambulance doctor – then work for no fee, as volunteers. And they have no shortage of experienced GP s ready to help out.

In a world driven by money, isn’t it good to know that highly skilled professionals pay to become part of the voluntary team who save lives.

Jan has to raise £75,000 per month to keep the Pride of Cumbria, the biggest and fastest air ambulance in the country flying. And last year Cumbrians donated £1.5 million to the life saving charity.

Every Wednesday we published the lottery results for the Air Ambulance in the Eden Valley Messenger and The Lake District Messenger. If you would like to support the Air Ambulance by joining their lottery or would like more information about the service click here.

To read the full story about Age Concern Appleby’s AGM log onto the Eden Valley Messenger website now..

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