Straiton volunteer opens Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance hangar

SCAA's 100th volunteer Sandra Millar and charity Chief Executive David Craig cutting the ribbon to mark the official opening of the new hangar.
SCAA's 100th volunteer Sandra Millar and charity Chief Executive David Craig cutting the ribbon to mark the official opening of the new hangar.

The invaluable support given to Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) by an army of more than 100 volunteers nationwide was highlighted at a special gathering at the charity’s airbase last week.

Held to mark National Volunteers’ Week (June 1-7), the celebratory ‘Tea In The Hangar’ brought together around 40 SCAA volunteers to receive a “Thank You” for over 2,000 volunteer hours dedicated to the air ambulance charity last year alone.

And the 100th volunteer to sign up and offer support - Sandra Millar from Straiton - was given the honour of cutting the ribbon to officially open SCAA’s new hangar at Perth Airport.

SCAA Chief Executive David Craig paid tribute to the “outstanding contribution” made by volunteers.

“SCAA simply could not function without the dedicated and selfless work carried out on our behalf by volunteers all across Scotland,” he said.

“From giving talks and presentations and manning stands and exhibitions to carrying out office administration, marshalling, driving, delivering and gathering collecting cans, their tireless enthusiasm will never go unnoticed or unappreciated at SCAA.

“These genuine heroes are a valuable part of the team and National Volunteers’ Week gives us the perfect opportunity to acknowledge their efforts and applaud their incredible support.

“Every volunteer at SCAA is helping to save lives and it is only right that we celebrate their hard work and let them know how valued they are.”

Sandra Millar (52) signed up as the charity’s 100th volunteer in March. The sustainability consultant with the Phoenix Group explained that she wanted to help after seeing how vital fast medical response was when a loved one took critically ill.

“That experience let me see how close it can be between life and death and that every minute counts,” she said. “I want to help SCAA, in any way, to get to as many patients as possible. They are saving lives and anyone of us could need them at any time - you just don’t know.”

Sandra has already been busy gathering in SCAA collecting cans from businesses in her area and she’s planning to help at summer fundraising events as well as organising a bucket collection at Edinburgh Airport.

“I’m so honoured to be SCAA’s 100th volunteer and it’s a real privilege to be asked to cut the ribbon and officially open SCAA’s new hangar at the volunteers’ Tea In The Hangar event.”

SCAA has grown its volunteer numbers from 80 last year to 108 currently and plans are in hand to expand the numbers across Scotland even further.

“We follow a very robust application and recruiting process and welcome applicants from all over Scotland,” said Mr Craig. “It’s wonderful to be able to host a gathering where they can meet each other, see the helicopter, interact with the crew and charity staff and hear all our latest news.”

Over 1.25 million people carry out voluntary work in Scotland - that’s 28% of the adult population - contributing 157 million hours of help with an economic value of £2.26 billion.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of National Volunteers’ Week with celebrations taking place at charities and voluntary organisations across Scotland.

To find out more about volunteering for SCAA visit https://www.scaa.org.uk/support-us/volunteer or call 0300-123-1111