Air ambulance crews save countless lives by reaching incidents within minutes to provide critical care for the most seriously ill and injured people directly at the scene. And as charities, they do so with no government funding.
Now people across the area are joining together to thank local air ambulances by fundraising with Lincolnshire Co-op through its Community Champions scheme.
Together with its members and colleagues the Society is raising money until June for Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance, which is celebrating its 25th Anniversary.
The partnership will help the charity raise vital funds needed to fly 24/7. It’s currently in a two-year trial, phasing up from its current 7am-7pm seven day a week cover to a full 24 hours a day, and must increase funds to support this move. The charity receives no direct government or NHS funding – it’s fuelled only by fundraising and generous contributions from the community.
A donation will be made through the Community Champions scheme each time a member shops in a Lincolnshire Co-op outlet. Proceeds from the carrier bag levy will also go into the pot.
Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance 25th Anniversary pin badges will be sold in Lincolnshire Co-op outlets across the two counties for a suggested donation of £1, and there’ll be collection tins for customers to give any spare change.
Lincolnshire Co-op food stores will also sell special lemon slices from Gadsby’s, the Society’s own bakery, with 10p from each pack sold added to the fundraising. Generous holidaymakers can also donate £1 when booking a break in the Society’s 14 travel branches until June.
Meanwhile, colleagues in Lincolnshire Co-op outlets will try to reach new heights with fundraising instore including a Wear It Yellow Day on either Saturday 30th March or Sunday 31st March during Discover Lincolnshire Weekend. There’ll be quiz sheets with prizes including a chance to meet the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance crew, a helicopter flight gift experience and more.
There’ll also be fun in the Waterside Shopping Centre in Lincoln on Saturday 30th March to drum up support.
Lincolnshire Co-op’s Community Engagement Manager Sam Turner said: “Air ambulances cover vast areas – over 3,500 square miles across Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire for the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance – but can reach someone who’s in trouble in minutes.
“They are mobile A&E departments flying some of the best medics straight to the scenes of incidents, working together with our emergency services. Their crews are so skilled they can carry out open heart surgery by the roadside. There’s no other way to say it – they are lifesavers.
“Together with our colleagues and members we’re proud to say thank you by fundraising to help them carry on this incredible work.
The Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance is called out on average three times a day, and often more. Since 1994 the charity has attended more than 19,700 missions. It’s also the only Helicopter Emergency Medical Service in the East Midlands which can carry blood on board, meaning its crew can give transfusions on the way to hospital and buy vital time for the most seriously ill patients.
Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance Area Fundraising Manager Gemma Shaw said: “We are all immensely excited about working with Lincolnshire Co-op.
“With its support it can not only help us to raise awareness of the work we do but help us to achieve our biggest fundraising push in our 25 year history!”
Both East Anglian Air Ambulance and Yorkshire Air Ambulance will also benefit from fundraising by colleagues and members at their local Lincolnshire Co-op outlets and will use money raised to help run their services.
Since its launch in 2000, East Anglian Air Ambulance has attended over 25,000 lifesaving missions. It aims to become a 24/7 Helicopter Emergency Medical Service by 2020.
Yorkshire Air Ambulance serves five million people across Yorkshire. It carries out over 1,800 missions every year and needs to raise £12,000 every day to keep saving lives.
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