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Tony Birch

Aerobility – A volunteer led organisation

Aerobility is a volunteer led organisation, we have approximately 20 regular volunteers who commit to 1 or more hours per week and a database of over 60 more who help in a variety of ways over the course of the year. Without our team of dynamic volunteers we would be unable to provide our aviation services to the 500 disabled people who we support each year. We estimate that with the help of volunteers our organisation saves £100,000 per year on costs which would otherwise have to be spent on employment and contracted services. This accounts for one third of our operating costs – quite a saving!

Volunteering Case Study: Tony Birth

Tony has been volunteering for Aerobility for two years. He is a regular volunteer committing an average of 10 hours a week to Aerobility, with this number increasing during the summer where we have events on up to 4 times a week.

Tony is a valued volunteer and part of the Aerobility team. He is dynamic and flexible helping with a variety of roles from manual tasks that our disabled flyers are unable to do to providing simulator training for children and adults with learning disabilities and writing regular entries for our Aviation Safety Blog.

Over the past 2 years Tony has taken an active role in helping students on our learning disability programmes. He gives up his Saturday mornings to mentor for our Aviation Education Programme, helping teenagers with learning disabilities read and write. He also mentors on the Aspiring Pilot Programme, ensuring the students have fully understood the course content and supervising them during their flying lessons.

Tony is also one of the main photographers for Aerobility and takes wonderful pictures that he uploads. These are then used for blogs and social media as well as promoting the charity. He is an all-rounder and will willingly turn his hand to anything that is asked.

A main component of Tony’s weekly tasks is working on our Safety Management System, his skills set from previous work in industry is ideally suited to our needs. Like all growing charities, Aerobility was very aware that the management of our safety policy was extremely important. It needed to be managed, as is the rest of our operation, in a professional and proportionate manner but like many charities, our resources were limited. He has now written and implemented our safety policy, leaving our limited full time capacity to simply operate the systems on a day to day basis. His work has been invaluable in allowing us to proceed with expanding our operations without being held back by time consuming but vital safety management issues.

In 2014 Tony won the volunteer of the year award and since has continued to show his committed support to the charity. Without people like Tony Aerobility would not be able to provide its aviation services to over 500 disabled people a year and we are truly grateful for his support.