A former nurse has spent the past two years volunteering after she was airlifted to Ninewells Hospital not once, but twice.
Sarah Kelly had to be airlifted by Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) twice after suffering from heart problems, and to say thank you for their heroic efforts, she has spent the past two years fundraising to keep the life-saving helicopter in the sky.
Having worked as a district nurse across Tayside over the years, she said she knows just how important it was for her to be transferred to emergency care at Ninewells Hospital fast.
Speaking to the Tele, she said: “Over the last couple of years since 2018 I have been helping out at events by manning stands and can collecting to fundraise for SCAA.
“I have been airlifted by SCAA twice and although I was quite ill at the time, it was such a positive experience.
“I was absolutely amazed by the experts there for getting me to Ninewells quickly – I knew when I retired I needed to give something back by volunteering.
“I was a nurse in the NHS for 42 years so I know what a fantastic resource this helicopter is for people in Scotland, it is invaluable.”
SCAA is based at Perth Airport and in April this year set up its second helicopter at Aberdeen Airport to try and respond to even more emergency call outs.
Sarah continued: “I love being able to talk to people about SCAA because many people don’t know anything about it – I think just because I know about it and have had to use it, everyone must know, but they don’t.
“We are all very proud to be part of the organisation and when we see the SCAA helicopter in the sky we know we have done our bit to get it there by fundraising.
“It is a great thing for people to volunteer and give something back.
“Even just a few hours every month makes a difference.”
As SCAA marks National Volunteer Week (June 1-7), they have been thanking the efforts of its volunteers like Sarah.
In a statement the charity’s chairman John Bullough said: “Our charity depends on its growing army of volunteers who support us by giving talks, attending events and rattling tins.
“We have built significant national capabilities in less than seven years and we couldn’t have done that without the huge support of our volunteer base.
“Notwithstanding the huge talent of our fundraising staff, I know they would all agree the true heroes are those willing to give up their own time and money to keep this essential service in the air.
“We take this week to honour them and show our due respect for their enormous contribution to keep us all safe – thank you very much.”