Search and Rescue team in operation talking into radio

NATS is marking this year’s Volunteers’ Week, which started today, by shining a light on some of our employees who volunteer in their spare time and find out why it’s important to them.

AmberAmber, Direct Entry Graduate
Volunteer: Event First Aider and Sergeant Instructor Army Cadet Force

“I started learning first aid when I was 12 through the army cadets where I very quickly took to the subject. After being awarded the highest level of cadet badge and still wanting to do more I became involved in a community first aid group. This would include weekly training sessions and going to community events such as races, festivals and many sporting events.

“After 2 years I was given the opportunity to become a trainer. I can teach different types of courses but choose to mainly deliver free sessions on emergency life support. This is to raise awareness of the importance of learning basic skills as I am a big believer that everyone should learn basic first aid. It would save a lot more lives!

“Also, I have gone full circle and am an army cadet instructor. I teach first aid, as well as many other skills, to the cadets as well as competing in the young adult division of the first aid team.”

DebbieDeborah, Air Traffic Management Development Lead
Volunteer: St Francis Animal Welfare

“Animal welfare has always been close to my heart and I was keen to get involved with a local animal rescue charity. After searching the internet, I found a local rescue centre, St Francis Animal Welfare, were looking for volunteers to help with their rescue cats. For the last few months I have been volunteering there each Sunday where I clean out the cat pens and have an opportunity for some lovely cuddles with the more confident cats. It’s also an opportunity to spend time with the more nervous cats to get them used to human company and ready for rehoming.

“I absolutely love volunteering at St Francis Animal Welfare because of the opportunity to care for animals who may have had a difficult start in life and it’s lovely to see so many of them rehomed.

“St Francis receives no government funding so is entirely reliant on donations and volunteers, so it’s very rewarding to feel I’m able to help in some way.”

ScottScott, Operations Process & Document Specialist
Volunteer: Hampshire Search and Rescue

“I started volunteering as a qualified Search Technician with Hampshire Search and Rescue at the start of the pandemic – I had been considering applying for some time, but the requirement to be on-call 24/7 was quite restrictive when working formal ‘office hours’. Being on furlough (and the subsequent move to agile working) allowed flexibility with agreement from my manager.

“The role has allowed me to learn many new skills, including first aid, navigation and search techniques, and has given me the opportunity to work with a fantastic team. It has also provided development opportunities, boosted my self-confidence and allows me to work in environments and situations very different to the office environment.

“I’ve become very passionate about this organisation having witnessed first-hand the support that it provides. Helping to return someone to their loved ones, or helping someone to get the help that they desperately need is so rewarding.”

BeverleyBeverley, Senior Safety & Assurance Manager
Volunteer: Rock Projects in Uganda

“In 2017 I was part of a small team that went to volunteer for two weeks with Rock Projects in Uganda. Whilst there I helped do some practical work bricklaying (rather badly) and painting classrooms and fences. We also delivered food parcels and played with the children. Most recently I went back to Uganda in 2023 with a team from my church in Southampton.

“Spending time in Uganda has given me a personal connection with the people and it feels much more real to support them. It is so easy to take for granted the situations we are born into. It is very humbling to be able to support people who have so little and hopefully make a small difference in their lives.

“I feel I am a much richer person for having connected with the charity and community where Rock Projects work. They have shown me the value of being content with what you have and I think they have made me a better and more compassionate person.”

At NATS, we support our employees to develop both professionally and personally. If you would like to find out more about working at NATS, take a look at our Why NATS? page or visit our careers section.


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