Imagine the difference your support could make to thousands of people across the North West!
- Lisa’s story
- Paul’s story
- James's story
In April 2013, Lisa, aged 15, was involved in a road traffic collision whilst on her bike delivering the morning paper round. Lisa was placed into a coma for five days resulting in short term memory loss. Lisa and her family are hugely grateful for the rapid airlift that made such a major contribution to saving her life and now regularly fundraises for the charity.
Her father Steve shares her story: “On 25th April 2013 Lisa was hit by a car on a blind bend whilst crossing the road. Lisa was unconscious when the North West Air Ambulance Charity arrived and was taken to North Staffordshire Hospital immediately where she remained in a coma for five days and spent almost three weeks in hospital. Although for a while Lisa suffered with short term memory loss, thankfully she has no memory of the accident. Lisa has now fully recovered and has been so inspired by the care she received during this time that she is now hoping to become a medic. We believe that Lisa wouldn’t be here today without the assistance of the North West Air Ambulance Charity.”
On February 13th 2002, Farington resident Paul Kelly was working alone in his factory when he tripped and fell into an industrial mixing machine. Alone in the factory and trapped inside the machine, Paul’s situation was grave. However, the machine stalled and a delivery driver just so happened to turn up several hours early and heard Paul shouting out. Paul had become a triple amputee, and his injuries were so severe that the North West Ambulance Service paramedics first on-scene immediately called for assistance from the air ambulance. The North West Air Ambulance flew him first to the trauma centre at Preston hospital where staff identified his injuries, and then transferred him two hours later to Wythenshawe Hospital for microsurgery.
Paul comments: “In microsurgery, time is of the absolute essence, and the air ambulance got me to the hospital with the right staff within an hour. My second journey took only fourteen minutes. When I arrived renowned microsurgeons and a dedicated surgery team worked on me for 22 hours. Simply put, the air ambulance saved my life. They got me to brilliant specialist surgeons within the golden hour after the accident, and if they hadn’t, I just wouldn’t have survived.”
James Coffey was travelling back home from a day in the Lake District when his motorbike was struck by a car travelling on the wrong side of the road, knocking him off his bike. The accident left him with life-threatening injuries and internal bleeding, so it was vital he got to the hospital as quickly as possible.
”The North West Air Ambulance Charity took a total of four minutes to get me to hospital, and the fact they got me there so quickly is a big part of the reason I am able to tell my story today. A year on and I am still dealing with the effects of the crash, but I am incredibly appreciative to everyone who has helped me to rebuild my life.“
“It wasn’t until I needed this service to save my life, that I realised how vital our emergency services are. The fact that the charity is reliant on donations means that fundraising is so important and I know first-hand the difference that every penny makes.”
“My injuries prohibited me from climbing a mountain, or getting involved in a sponsored walk, but instead I got all my friends and family together for a fundraising day in my garden to raise as much money as possible.”
“My community has been so supportive in donating food, drinks, cakes and raffle prizes, which meant that the entry fee could go straight to making a difference. We put up a bouncy castle and set up stalls and games which helped us to raise lots of money as well as ensuring that everyone had a great time.”
- Victor Crawford
- Clive and Ann Rowley
- Sarah Horne
Keen pilot combines passion for flying with charity!
Victor Crawford, from Macclesfield, has been a keen supporter of the North West Air Ambulance for just over one year.
When he stopped full time work three years ago, Victor decided to follow his boyhood dream and become a fully qualified pilot. It was through flying at Barton Aerodrome where he first came across a North West Air Ambulance helicopter, which sparked his initial interest in the charity and the work that it does.
Victor delivers talks and presentations to organisations such as the W.I and Rotary Club about his flying experiences and decided to donate his fees to the North West Air Ambulance. When the charity discovered this, Victor was asked to give talks about the Air Ambulance as well and he now does this several times each month.
In addition to this, Victor also accepts fundraising cheques from organisations as a representative on behalf of the charity.
Commenting on his charity work, Victor said, “When I was offered a fee for my public speaking it didn’t feel right to accept the money for doing something that I enjoy. Therefore, it seemed only fitting that I donate my fee to the North West Air Ambulance.”
Victor added, “They are a wonderful charity, which help so many people every year and it is great to combine my passion for flying with such a good cause. At the back of my mind there is always the thought that one day I might need them.”
Hightown couple’s support for the North West Air Ambulance
Clive and Ann Rowley from Hightown, have been proud volunteers for the North West Air Ambulance for four years.
Clive and Ann, both retired and in their 70’s, originally got involved with the charity after hearing a talk from Jackie Northover at their local guild, which Anne was chairwoman of at the time. A few months later, Jackie contacted Ann personally asking for assistance with the donation boxes.
Ann and her husband visit the North West Air Ambulance head office twice a week and count the donations from collection boxes gathered from local pubs, shops and offices across the region.
In addition to this, Ann uses the fruit and vegetables grown in their allotment to produce homemade jams and pickles, which she often sells to raise funds for the charity.
Commenting on her experience as a volunteer, Ann said “ The North West Air Ambulance is a fantastic charity which relies completely on the generosity of the public, and my husband and I are glad to pay our own part in keeping it going.
She added, “As long as our health permits us, we hope to continue our support for the charity making jams and helping with the donation boxes, for many years to come.”
Sarah Horne gives thanks back to the North West Air Ambulance through voluntary work
Sarah Horne from Blackburn, and her family have been avid supporters of the North West Air Ambulance for several years.
Just over six years ago, Sarah’s husband was involved in a serious road traffic incident. The North West Air Ambulance were immediately called out to the scene to airlift Mr Horne to Royal Preston Hospital, though sadly he died a few hours later.
Sarah, now a retired teacher, delivers presentations about the Air Ambulance Service to many different organisations within the region such as Church groups, Women’s Institutes, or Rotary clubs. These groups contribute a speaker fee and regularly provide additional donations to support the work of the Charity.
In addition to this, she sells NWAA merchandise and regularly attends cheque presentations as a representative on behalf of the charity.
Commenting on her volunteering work, Sarah said“ It is the least I can do to give back to a charity who helped my husband at a critical time.”
She later added, “I really enjoy this role and I feel that it is very important to spread the charity’s message locally. The North West Air Ambulance is a wonderful charity who rely completely on the generosity of the public to keep it going 365 days of the year”
- Freda Whittle
- Barry and Thelma Band
- Reverend Ken Clapham
Freda Whittle, from Burnley admits it is easier to say what she doesn’t do in aid of the NWAA than what she does.
“I do presentations, tombolas, car boot sales, Christmas tree festivals and sell NWAA merchandise at fayres and shows,” she explained.
“I took early retirement but when I retired from work I didn’t want to just sit at home doing nothing.
“I saw an article in the local paper about a woman doing fundraising and it began from there.”
Freda started doing car boot sales and auctions and put adverts in the local paper asking for donations.
“Anything that was not suitable for the NWAA shops we distributed elsewhere,” explained Freda.
One lady gave Freda her entire large collection of toy monkeys.
“We took them to Rochdale Motorcycling club where we used them as prizes in a lucky dip. We even gave them all motorbike-type names!” added Freda.
Barry and Thelma Band from Blackpool live a quarter of a mile away from Blackpool airport, which is home to the NWAA.
“The helicopter flies over our house two or three times a day, which is really how we first because interested in it and got involved,” explained ex-journalist Barry.
“We wanted to do something worthwhile in our retirement and felt this was a very good cause. Now I do presentations to all sorts of clubs and organisations to promote the air ambulance and Thelma takes along NWAA merchandise to sell.”
Barry admits that they do get some unusual requests, including one from the Brockholes Arms near Garstang, which asked him to come along and help knock down a tower of coins which had been there for 17 years.
“The coin tower was touching the ceiling so it couldn’t go any further,” remembered Barry.
The pub’s proprietors, Mr and Mrs Harker, donated all the coins – totalling £540 – to the NWAA.
“Getting involved has improved our social life and we have the comfort of knowing that we are doing some good with our time,” he added.
Reverend Ken Clapham wants to encourage more people to follow his lead and use their own hobbies and interests for the benefit of the NWAA.
He has raised hundreds of pounds for the NWAA by travelling around the country giving talks about his interest in moon exploration.
His passion for all things moon-related began in 1987 when the children in his village primary school were doing a project on space and he wrote to James Irwin, the eighth man in space, to ask if he could visit the school the next time he was in the UK.
James Irwin did just that, and since then Reverend Ken has met a number of US astronauts, including Buzz Aldrin, Jim Lovell (Apollo 13) and Charlie Duke.
“We live on the edge of the Lake District and often see the helicopter flying over to pick people up,” explained Reverend Ken, who has been nicknamed Bishop of the Moon because of his ambition to be the first clergyman in space.
“I am familiar with the work the North West Air Ambulance does and I know that it needs all the support it can get,” he added.