National Volunteer Week – Hoss Atri – Profile
5 June 2020
Volunteering at EHAAT – Hoss Atri
“As I write this note on this sunny morning with beautiful blue skies above I am thinking to myself that right now in Essex and in Hertfordshire there are thousands of people who are alive today only thanks to the heroic crews of our helicopter emergency medical service.
My name is Hoss Atri and I became a volunteer almost 4 years ago after retiring from corporate life. I chose to volunteer for EHAAT because a friend of mine had been airlifted by the EHAAT crew.
In my early volunteering days, I had the chance on various occasions, to shadow the more experienced volunteers including Roger Smith, Peter Hennessey, Lesley Morrisey and Ian Allman, through them I got know many other volunteers.
One of those volunteers was Theresa James who sadly is no longer with us. I remember fondly the occasion when she gently told me off for making a slight change to her merchandise display in a fundraiser in Maldon.
For me it is a privilege to be associated with EHAAT as a volunteer and I enjoy sharing tales of meeting and getting to know some of the wonderful HEMS crew members. I always say that if you are unfortunate enough to become the victim of a life threatening of life changing experience, then with EHAAT around you could not wish for better hands to save your life.
I enjoy giving talks and receiving donations from our sponsors, hosting visitor centre tours, volunteering and bucket collections in various community events and helping at Earls Clone office on occasions. EHAAT events and fundraising teams organise a wide range of fund raising activities for us and I encourage my co-volunteers to get involved with as many as they can.
The charity has been steadily growing in the past few years yet the executive remain well connected with the volunteer community. There are now over 400 EHAAT volunteers across Essex and Herts. Of course, it is not possible for every one of us to know every other volunteer in the team but I admire the dedication of all of my co-volunteers. There are those in full-time and part-time employment who still find time for volunteering, there are married volunteer couples, single volunteers, young and more mature volunteers. Last but not least there are former patient volunteers who devote time to volunteering for EHAAT some despite some disabilities. It is heart-warming to be a member of this wonderfully diverse family.
I admire the commitment of the volunteer and fundraising teams to stay engaged with the volunteers during the current pandemic and hope that soon the conditions will allow us to re-engage with our supporters in the community.”