First Air Ambulance Week raises £25k

Critical care paramedic Jenny Conway with the yellow pin badges.

Critical care paramedic Jenny Conway with the yellow pin badges.

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Generous supporters across the Leamington, Warwick and Kenilworth areas have helped to raise more than £25,000 for the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) during its first Air Ambulance Week.

The people of Warwickshire contributed just over £7,300 towards the total amount raised, which will also go towards the WNAA’s sister service, the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance.

During the week, which took place at the end of September, hundreds of volunteers took to the streets across the five counties covered by the services to sell special Air Ambulance Week yellow pin badges.

Katie Lockton, fundraising coordinator for Warwickshire, said: “It was incredible to see the amount of people who wanted to take part and help in our first Air Ambulance Week.

“The support from Warwickshire and Coventry has been amazing – people were actually crossing the street to buy our badges and show their appreciation of their local air ambulance.

“Now we want everyone to tell their friends how much fun they had so we can make it even bigger next year.”

Each mission the WNAA flies costs an average of £1,700. As the charity receives no Government funding, it relies entirely on donations and events and campaigns such as this one to raise money for its lifesaving service.

Since its inception in 2003, it has been out on more than 16,000 missions.

There are plenty of ways in which people can support the WNAA, including taking part in challenges such as Tough Mudder, half marathons and coast-to-coast cycles; filling a milk bottle with change as part of the charity’s Bottle Bank campaign; taking on one of a variety of volunteer roles; getting involved in corporate fundraising; playing the charity’s own lottery; buying items at the WNAA charity shop in Market Street, Warwick; or simply donating online. The charity has also recently launched its Christmas appeal for 2015.

To find out more about the Air Ambulance service and ways to support it, call 08454 130999 or visit www.theairambulanceservice.org.uk