Furloughed airport staff volunteer for 7,000 hours during pandemic

Stansted Airport Security Officers sifting through the items and preparing trays for delivery to foodbanks.

Stansted Airport Security Officers sifting through the items and preparing trays for delivery to foodbanks. - Credit: Stansted Airport

Staff furloughed from Stansted Airport have spent more than 7,000 hours volunteering in roles at foodbanks, London's Nightingale hospital and within the NHS.

Among those who volunteered is Simon Phillips, an airport firefighter, who collected the over 500 Christmas crackers that had been surrendered to airport security and delivered them to sites around the airport.

Also in the run up to Christmas Brenda Watt, a security advisor at Stansted, collected 100kg of donations from staff for the Uttlesford Foodbank.

Daniel Humphreys, an airport engineering technician who is also a qualified ambulance driver, volunteered with St John’s Ambulance responding to 999 calls. He responded to "numerous medical emergencies, from cardiac arrests to strokes” as well as patients with Covid-19.

Lydia Marquer, who works as a landside operations key controller, took a career break in order to work on the front-line at the NHS nightingale hospital in London.

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She said: "I worked 12 hour shifts and like all people working on the ward, I had good days and bad days but knowing those patients needed my help is what made me keep coming back.”

Firefighter, Simon Phillips (pictured right), and Security Officer, Angela Richards from Stansted Airport

Firefighter, Simon Phillips (pictured right), and Security Officer, Angela Richards, also made sure any Christmas crackers surrendered at airport security didn't go to waste collecting over 500 of them. - Credit: Stansted Airport

Steve Griffiths, Stansted Airport's chief executive, said: “London Stansted Airport’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrates its deep-rooted commitment to being a good neighbour.

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“Against challenging business and personal circumstances, the support provided to local communities has made a real difference with staff giving up more than 7,000 hours of their time to help those who are less fortunate than themselves.

"I would like to thank the teams and individuals who have been so generous with their time over the last 10 months.”

Emily Ferris, who coordinates the airport’s volunteering activities, said: “We had an amazing response from colleagues who came forward as soon as we put the call out for volunteers.

"Many have said that they’ve loved being able to give something back and know they’ve made a positive difference to people’s lives during these difficult times.

"I’ve really enjoyed helping to organise some of these activities and then to hear all the lovely stories about how it’s really helping people.”

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