Stichting Ambulance Wens was founded by Kees Velboer. Kees worked as a paramedic in the Netherlands.
During a delay in transferring a patient, Mario, Kees asked if there was anywhere he would like to go. Mario was a retired seaman and asked if he could be taken to the Vlaardingen Cana. Kees fulfilled that wish.
Before they parted Kees asked Mario if he would like the opportunity to sail again. Mario said this would be impossible as he now needed a stretcher. But Kees was determined to this last wish for Marion and he did.
“It does me good to know that there are still people who care about others. From my experience this gesture, to fulfil my wish, made a huge impact"
Making this wish happen, showed Kees the importance that fulfilling last wish means, not just for the service user but also their families, friends and medical and care staff and so Stichting Ambulance Wens Netherlands was born.
In the UK, Alice Berrill the Founder began to publicise the Charity and started fundraising and recruiting volunteers. Our first ambulance was purpose-built in 2017 and the Ambulance Wish Foundation UK has grown from there.
The first wish was in York and was fulfilled with the help of Stichting Ambulance Wens. The wish was for Serina Doran’s Mum, who wanted to attend church one last time in Leeds. On the way back to Tina's hospice, they stopped off at a local park so her husband could bring her much loved dog to see her after weeks apart.
Serina was so happy that her Mum’s wish was fulfilled and she opened a branch in York to further develop the charity. She is a Charity Director and organises fundraising events which include a yearly music festival in York.
The AWF-UK relies completely on volunteers, who fill many roles including Trustees, Branch Management, Volunteer Management, Drivers, Escorts, Wish Researchers, Community Fundraisers and Event Coordinators - they are all amazing.