'We’re so humbled': Midlands Air Ambulance thanks supporters as £10 million raised to keep flying

Midlands Air Ambulance today thanked its supporters after revealing it had managed to raise the £10 million needed to keep flying.

Ready for action at RAF Cosford – Air Ambulance paramedics Mike Andrews and Pete Edwards along with pilot Alastair Lees
Ready for action at RAF Cosford – Air Ambulance paramedics Mike Andrews and Pete Edwards along with pilot Alastair Lees

It also revealed that demand for the service has been maintained through the pandemic, although the nature of emergencies has changed.

The service is not part of the NHS and is voluntarily funded.

As events were cancelled, the charity faced a funding crisis but supporters have stepped up.

Spokeswoman Helen Stevens said: “We were significantly hit – we don’t have figures yet – but people have supported us in so many other ways.

"Online fundraising changed the way we work. Also, we had people taking part in virtual challenges.

"We’ve developed new events that have raised tens of thousands of pounds.”

Once shops were re-opened, people have returned in droves. One shop saw a whole week’s takings in three days.

Ms Stevens added: “Our bottom line is that we have to raise £10 million per year and it looks likely that we’ve raised that irrespective of lockdown.

"We’re so humbled that the support is still there.”

Lockdown brought fewer road traffic accidents but there were record numbers of cyclists and DIY-ers requiring urgent medical help as our lifestyles changed.

The service had expected callouts to drop in lockdown, but the number of calls remained consistent.

The service had to take steps to ensure helicopters were safe to use in the pandemic, with extra screens and the use of PPE equipment for medics.

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