Sandy based Emily, 22, is a truly dedicated volunteer at our charity shop in the Bedfordshire town. However, this wasn't always what she wanted to do.
"I had lots of plans but life gets in the way sometimes. I was in a really bad place last October, I was just sitting at home feeling sorry for myself, my anxiety had got the better of me and I didn't feel like I could do anything. I knew I had to get out of the house and in the end it was my auntie that helped me do that.
"She'd been volunteering for Magpas Air Ambulance in their Sandy charity shop for a while and just persuaded me to go along one day. I was really nervous at first, but I soon got into it and started to really enjoy my time there. I did a lot of work on the shop floor such as helping customers, sorting donations and being on the till. One of my favourite things about volunteering is getting to know new people, especially the customers. You come to know the regulars so you can build up a relationship with them and get to know what they're after.
"A little while had passed when I heard that Magpas were looking to hire a part-time Assistant Shop Manager. After doing the voluntary work, my confidence had already been boosted and I knew what I could bring to the shop, so I just went for it – and got the job!
"Despite securing a paid role, I still volunteer with Magpas Air Ambulance regularly. I have a 16 hour position but volunteer for another 16 hours a week on top of that. Volunteering with Magpas Air Ambulance has helped me both in and out of the workplace; other people should definitely get involved if they can. It looks good on your CV, you can learn new skills and you're helping a really worthy cause.
"Ultimately, volunteering with Magpas Air Ambulance has massively boosted my confidence. I now have a job and independence and I feel good about myself. All my friends and family say I've completely changed now, and that's all down to volunteering here."
As a volunteer at Magpas Air Ambulance, any time you can donate will help us save lives 24/7. If Emily has inspired you to start volunteering, find out more about how you could help at www.magpas.org.uk/volunteer or register your interest in volunteering using the form below.