‘We need £2.2m to keep our Air Ambulance in the skies’

The Notts and Lincs Air Ambulance EMN-151230-102502001
The Notts and Lincs Air Ambulance EMN-151230-102502001

Officials at the Notts and Lincs Air Ambulance have revealed they will need to raise £2.2m to keep the service ‘flying high’ in 2016.

The ambulance - a charitable trust - performs a vital role, particularly in rural areas of Lincolnshire.

It flew over 900 missions in 2015 and is hoping a new and faster helicopter - an AW169 - will lead to an improvement in the service.

A spokeswoman said: “Twenty-one years since our first airlift, the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service - and the charity that funds it - have gone from strength to strength.

“Looking back over 2015, there have been a number of significant milestones.

“The charity has flown just over 900 missions across the two counties, landing our medical crew in a range of tricky locations in order to provide critical care and attention to patients at their time of greatest need.

“It has been truly wonderful to receive so many heart-warming letters and phone calls of thanks and gratitude from people in the community who have been touched by the life-saving service we provide.”

Improvements have been made - including night flying operations and a new base.

The spokeswoman said: “Our new purpose-built airbase valuable minutes that the crew previously lost when running from their old, run-down base to the helicopter launch pad.

“The up-to-date airbase now houses new high-tech equipment, training and meeting rooms and offers hitherto dreamed of ‘luxuries’ such as separate male and female toilets!”

The spokeswoman went on to thank ‘an army’ of volunteer fundraisers - individuals and companies - whose donations proved vital.

She added: “It’s a fact that without these wonderful people, we simply could not keep our Ambucopter flying.”

The charity is saying farewell to retiring CEO Peter Aldrick.

His successor, Karen Jobling, said: “I’m honoured to be taking over the reins Next year, we’ll need to raise £2.2m to keep our helicopter flying every day, at least three times a day. But I know that we can do it because of the giving hearts of our supporters and fundraisers. Like our aircrew, you are all life-savers.”

“As 2016 approaches, we wish one and all a very happy, peaceful and safe Christmas. Our Ambucopter crew will, of course, be at the ready to respond to emergencies, as they are every day of the year.”