As the daffodils are shooting up, days are getting longer and the promise of warmer weather draws nearer, we’re delighted to announce our new charity of the year for 2021 – Essex and Herts Air Ambulance.
We’ve all heard awe-inspiring stories of successful air rescue missions in the news, but how much do we really know about the Air Ambulance and the service it provides locally?
Introducing the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance
Here are some key points that you may not know about this fantastic charity…
- The charity aims to save lives by delivering a first class pre-hospital emergency medical service
- They are not part of the NHS and are funded entirely by public donations and National Lottery funding, with very limited financial support from the government
- They are based in Colchester, Essex
- Thanks to charitable donations they were able to welcome their first purchased helicopter, the Agusta Westland 169, to the fleet
- They attend calls both by air in the helicopters and by road in rapid response vehicles
And in numbers…
- 2,366 missions in 2020 of which 479 were road traffic collisions
- 1,239 missions by air and 1,127 by road
- 1,626 patients treated by their critical care team
Our MD Claire Austin says: “We chose Herts Air Ambulance as our 2021 charity because they provide an amazing, but largely unseen, lifesaving service to our community and are funded purely by charitable giving.”
Charities during Covid
Austin’s charitable fund was set up in 2002 and we have raised over £130,000 for community-based and local charities including the Samaritans, Stevenage Haven, Cancer Hair Care, Tracks Autism and, over the last couple of years, the Butterfly Volunteers at the Lister Hospital and Cruse Bereavement Care.
When we announced Cruse as our 2020 charity of the year last March, we had no idea how difficult things would become for charities nationwide.
Back in June it was predicted by independent charity Pro Bono Economics that the UK’s 170,000 charities would lose £6.4 billion of income over the six months to December 2020, leaving one in 10 potentially facing bankruptcy.
This was a particular threat for smaller, local charities struggling with reduced income and fundraising paused, but increased outgoings on extra costs for things like food, medication and PPE.
The Air Ambulance, like so many others, have had to get creative with their fundraising. They’ve set up online giving platforms, virtual fundraising platforms and even come up with all sorts of ideas for ‘at home fundraising’ including baking challenges (bring back the banana bread from lockdown 1.0!) to Netflix parties!
Onwards and upwards
We’re very grateful to everyone who has helped to raise money for all of our nominated charities so far. Your support really does make a difference, particularly during these most challenging times.
To find out more about the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance, visit: https://www.ehaat.org/
In the meantime, we’ll be posting updates about the work they do throughout the year on our website and social media channels.