Play / pause Volunteering


  • Wing Commander Adrian Gillespie
  • Interview by: Jess Boydon


The reason I volunteered in the first,

I've always done something in the community.

I've been a cricket coach,

I've run a riding school, badly.

You know, I just ran it and my wife did the horse riding.

So I've always done something in the community,

mostly with my children,

because it meant they could do something.

And I had a friend who, through the cricket club,

was a paramedic and we got chatting

and I thought that's really interesting.

And he actually said, "Why don't you start the scheme?"

So with one of my sergeants when I was on OC 3 Police Wing,

we looked into it, we applied for and got

a community Covenant grant, 25,000 pounds to buy the car,

which we had to in those days.

And we just kicked it off.

And I thought rewarding thing, something different.

I could bring back those additional first aid skills

to what I was doing and give something back.

And I can't think of a better way of community engagement

than to actually deal with the community when they need you.

It's not all about running around on blue lights,

piling through traffic,

pushing people away and saving lives,

sometimes there are some quite nasty things we go to,

some quite tragic things.

And you have to be able to deal with that.

For some people it's not for them.

And we weed them out very quickly.

But volunteer, give something back.

Hopefully it doesn't sound sort of crass,

but, 30 years, I've been on lots of deployments

doing emergency relief all over.

Why shouldn't I do it in my own country?

Why not?

That's what the armed forces are here to do, to support.

It's a bit different from doing flood defenses

which I've done, or emergency planning,

or during the foot and mouth outbreak

this was a national emergency is a national emergency.

So yeah, absolutely delighted to do my bit.

I think it was the best use of my time,

rather than pushing paper around an office,

I was actually helping people.

  • Favourite

    You have to be logged in to use favourites.

  • Report

Back to search results

More RAF Stories

Please note our website uses cookies to improve your experience. I understand. For more information see Privacy Notice & Cookies