We are very lucky to have been so well supported by Richard who has volunteered for the charity for over a decade. Below is his response to receiving his 10-year Long Service Award.

What a lovely surprise in the post last week - the arrival of my 10 year long service certificate and badge, signed by the Boss! It gave me time to reflect on how Devon Air Ambulance has grown into a major wing of the emergency services in Devon in the years I’ve been involved. Thinking of all the people I have met, the events I have attended, and the frantic calls to Sarah and Caroline when I could not for the life of me get the projector to work usually about 10 minutes before I was due to give the talk!
I have actually given the talk verbatim without the projector (about 6 or 7 times at least!) so I hope I've always given value for money. Its quite amazing how the tiniest of groups raise such large amounts of money, so much hard work goes into squeezing out every penny possible to help keep those Red Birds flying and saving lives all over Devon, all day long and for much of the night. 
I’ve been honoured and proud to represent the Trust at all sorts of events including one-day shows, pub evenings, WI meetings, tea parties, sponsored events of all sorts and quite a few talks all over the county, but no matter how large or small the audience, I have always been made most welcome and had a lot of fun in the process. 

There is no doubt that volunteering provides much fun and laughter and I've always been motivated by the huge sumd raised by tiny groups and villages. One talk comes to mind when it was so cold in the village hall, I did the talk with my overcoat on and was given hot tea, a scone and a cheque for nearly £4,000 - it was very unexpected and I was very happy to judge the flower competition at the end of the evening! 
So with a 20-year association, 10 as a volunteer, everything jogging along as it does my life tipped upside down (much as it did at the start of my journey with DAAT as a patient) and I had to begin to deal with bladder cancer and a mild form of Parkinson's all in the same week. Suddenly everything stopped and my life became a flurry of appointments (there have been nearly 70 in all to date) with the majority being at the Urology department in the RD&E in Exeter. I've vben so many times I have on a couple of occasions given people directions if reception has been busy! 
I miss playing badminton and cricket so I took up ‘walking football’ but there’s no doubt that I miss working with the fabulous DAA team with the only gig being a year ago when I spoke from the pulpit for about 10 minutes (supposed to be 2!) about the work of the trust and thanking the 400-strong audience for turning out on a wet and windy day in May.

It’s been 2 years since the double health whammy and I have since made a tiny contribution to a film promoting the benefits of Volunteering and I guess you could say I'm being wheeled out once a year as opposed to once a week - the upside being that I don't have to worry about the projector too often!

It’s been a bumpy journey in many ways and dealing with one illness is enough, but if you have to deal with two then as the song goes That's the way God planned it, so without further ado I can say there is light at the end of the tunnel following my 10th cystoscopy yesterday (11th June, 2020) I got a 10 out of 10 with a no treatment for 6 months and everything else satisfactory.
Now I can focus on my other ailments and you know what they say: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" and the thoughts of getting out and about wearing my red Devon Air Ambulance shirt and my shiny new 10 year service badge gives me a good feeling so, here's hoping. 

Could you be a volunteer too? We welcome your interest