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Air ambulance charity launches emergency appeal to stay in the skies

The North West Air Ambulance Charity (NWAA) has launched an emergency appeal to keep its lifesaving service funded, following 11 months of significant disruption as a result of the pandemic.

While the charity has continued to support the NHS on the frontline and provide advanced pre-hospital care to patients in need across the region, NWAA has lost an estimated £71,000 each month in revenue since the first national lockdown.

Relying solely on public and corporate support to raise £9.5m year, the amount it takes to remain operational, the pandemic has had a severe impact on the organisation: store closures, cancelled fundraisers and postponed events have seen funds dip significantly.

Former patients are urging people to support the charity, including Maddy Hubel, 36, York. Whilst out on a horse ride at Somerford Park in Congleton, her horse, Holly, misjudged a fence and fell on top of Maddy, knocking her unconscious. The NWAA crew were alerted, providing advanced medical care at scene before airlifting her to Stoke Royal Hospital for further treatment.

Maddy commented: “When I came round, I heard the helicopter on scene, and started insisting that I was fine! I definitely needed their care though, and I can only imagine how much worse my injuries might have been without NWAA. It’s been a tough few months of recovery, but I’m back in the saddle and I have the crew to thank for that. I will be forever grateful, and I urge others to support the charity’s work, so that the crew can continue to be there for those in need.”

Sarah Naismith, Director of Income and Engagement, at the North West Air Ambulance Charity, commented: “COVID-19 has disrupted everyone’s lives, it’s threatened to grind down our friends in the NHS, and it’s placed a financial and operational strain on our charity. The crew have continued their lifesaving work every day, supporting the NHS and working side by side with the ambulance service. However, the disruption to our fundraising revenues is significant and we don’t take sharing this news lightly.

“Without funding, we may not be able to continue to make a critical difference to patients like Maddy. For 21 years, we have always been blown away by the generosity of our supporters, and we wouldn’t be here without them. With our work at greater risk than ever before, any donations will allow us to continue to reach and treat patients in need and give them the best chance of survival. Help us help people across the North West.”

To donate to the charity, text HELPNWAA5 to 70085 to donate £5*, or visit www.nwaa.net/emergencyappeal.

*Texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to give £5 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text HELPNWAANOINFO5 to 70085. Alternatively, to give more just add the amount you wish to donate after the text code e.g. HELPNWAA10 to donate £10.

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