Community blog: Community is Strength, Community is Kindness - Great Western Air Ambulance Charity
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Community blog: Community is Strength, Community is Kindness

Our community blogs have seen toasts to Girlguiding, GWAAC’s awesome volunteers, and the smorgasbord of kindness served up by some of our supporters – but this week we want to say thank you to you all!

It’s a bizarre admission to make, but when we’re not needed, we’re happy; when we’re not needed it means people are likely not suffering out of hospital, life-threatening injuries or illnesses. To this end, over the last few months, we have seen a large reduction in the number of call-outs, which we’re putting down to our communities respecting the lockdown, staying home, and staying safe. We saw a 50% reduction in call-outs in April, with the crew being tasked 77 times to incidents across the region. Numbers have increased back up to 120 in May, with 50% of these in the last two weeks of the month, as we see the lockdown restrictions start to ease, and nice weather encouraging people outside.

Our critical care doctors, specialist paramedics in critical care, and pilots perform a tough job in the best of times, and this reduction has allowed their skill sets to be utilised elsewhere by supporting the NHS with 24 inter-hospital transfers, some of these including transferring critically ill COVID-19 patients, and offering clinical advice on a specialist Trauma Advice Line.

But I can’t not share some more excellent things that our community has been up to…I’ve been keeping my eye on a community garden that’s recently taken over a scrubby bit of soil along the tow-path where I live.

Community gardening

This little project encapsulates the sentiment that we’ve been hoping to capture in these blogs: why our shared community is so important. Like our crew, community is important in the best of times, and during difficult periods it can be essential. Loneliness and isolation, whilst we’re being diligent and conscientious citizens, will likely have long term effects on individuals, particularly teenagers, and our society generally (read more).

So, when I, after direction from a chalk-wielding resident (see photo), and feeling a little like Nigel Slater, return home with a bounty of wild garlic, fennel, and wild rocket, and stumble on a small patch of strawberries nestled between some still ripening tomatoes and sweet peas, I can’t help but feel proud to be a part of this small community.

Tortuously long sentences aside, this is what it’s about, isn’t it? Propping people up when they need it and being part of something bigger. Something better. And this is what we’re about at GWAAC – we’re still here, ready to respond to those who need the more significant level of care our crew and equipment can bring. As a part of this community, and an asset that is only here through charitable donations, we just want to say thank you for all of your gifts, your thoughts and your support. We couldn’t continue without it.

Should you feel able to, and want to support our work so we can remain here and ready to respond, you can donate below.

Donate here