This week’s blog update comes from our special ‘guest-writer’ Julia – one of our wonderful ‘Ground Crew’, or Volunteers as you know them! Julia is our resident Volunteer Newsletter Editor, and has been volunteering with GWAAC for “seven and a half fun filled years”. She first became interested in the charity as she was once rescued by a Sea King helicopter after falling and breaking her wrist on a Cornish coastal path. Here, Julia gives an update on volunteer life during lockdown…
“You could be forgiven for thinking that volunteering during the last 4 months might have been an impossible task but it would take more than a lockdown to curtail the activities of our community of GWAAC volunteers. When asked to join in the 2.6 Challenge right at the beginning of lockdown we came up with a variety of activities such as walking 126,000 steps covering 62 miles, wearing 26 hats, telephoning 26 family and friends, baking 26 rock cakes and making a tableau of 26 gnomes to represent Staying at Gnome!
With no prospect of a haircut in the offing, Gary from Gloucestershire has been saving the cost of his barbershop trips until the pubs open in order to donate the equivalent to GWAAC. Now that the pubs have opened we are looking forward to some photos of the before, during and after look! Our faithful supporter, Valerie, carried on making doorstops for GWAAC at Sandford Station in spite of a serious supply hitch in her raw materials (bricks!) early on in lockdown. A selection of home cooked meals were delivered to our crew from a team of home cooks in Bath and the crew have even had a fortnightly fruit delivery from Ding Dong Deliverers in Thornbury.
Our volunteers have had the chance to keep in touch with each other and the GWAAC staff through several zooms featuring the serious side of our wonderful charity as well
as quizzes and a very popular tea party. There has been a monthly Lockdown Volunteer Newsletter in which we have learnt about the ongoing operations of the charity as well as sharing recipes, pictures of things seen on daily walks and suggestions of books to read. Models of our helicopter, Helimed 65, have been constructed in Lego and even knitted by two very creative volunteers. Very stylish face coverings are being expertly made by another volunteer; these can be obtained for a small donation to GWAAC by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a group, it is even possible that the volunteers have had the opportunity to see more of each other than usual during lockdown because of our zoom meetings. In normal life we all go about our different volunteering tasks in the various areas such as at events, talks and working in the office. We usually only meet as a big group at the legendary Christmas Party …. The next one will be truly epic!”