COLUMN: Volunteering for charities can be so rewarding


By Richard Fletcher

Derbyshire Air Ambulance

As a volunteer for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance Service (DLRAA) the rest of 2014 promises to be another great year with a lot of projects being planned but it’s not too late to join in.

Each rescue mission carried out by DLRAA costs approximately £1,700, which is funded entirely by public donations. They have carried out over 5,700 rescue missions since 2008 and saved many lives in the process. In 2013, the service carried out 315 rescue missions in Derbyshire – more than any other county.

If you would like to hold an event, support us with a collection tin, volunteer for us or if you would like to make a donation, please let me know via the contact details at the end of this article.

One of my other volunteering roles is as a befriender with Amber Valley CVS Befriending Service.

I have been doing this for over two years now, and really enjoy visiting my befriendee.

Listening to them is such a rewarding part of the role and I have learnt so much from this as their memories are shared of people they have met and places they been too.

Sometimes it makes you realise how much Belper has changed with businesses coming and going. I like to think that these changes are mostly cosmetic and that the heart and spirit of Belper and its residents remains happy and proud.

The Amber Valley Centre for Voluntary Service; manages a team of volunteers who are trained and fully supervised; they provide a free befriending service; this is a flexible support service which complements the support being given by their family or social care.

The befriending service is for any person aged 50 and over, they may be socially isolated or in need for one to one support. A befriender will visit once a week on a set day and set time in the person’s own home with the aim of providing some companionship that may assist and enhance their overall wellbeing.

It also supports individuals in accessing lunch clubs, or other social activities. Visits only take place Monday to Friday between 9am to 5pm.If you would like to join our team of volunteers as a befriender and support our elderly people in the Belper Area please let me know through the Belper News Team by emailing