For the next financial year the North West Air Ambulance Charity will be our Charity of the Year. This is the first time we have ever adopted the same charity two years running but the reason is clear to see: they do such wonderful work and their staff are a great bunch of people. Since last summer we’ve been working with them to design and deliver a training programme which will take all staff to the achievement of an ILM qualification and some additionally to an OCR qualification. During that time we’ve got to know the organisation and its people and we can’t speak too highly of them.
The charity exists to provide rapid pre-hospital care for the people of the northwest. They operate three helicopters, flying 365 days a year with doctors and paramedics on board providing emergency medical assessment and treatment when time is critical. This coverage means they’re never further than 10 minutes to the nearest hospital in the region – an extraordinary achievement when you think it applies to an area of 5,500 square miles.
This amazing service is freely available to the 8 million people of the North West and its visitors each year. In 2013/14, the NWAA charity attended over 2,000 incidents across the region, over 700 of which (34%) were road traffic collisions. Sport and Leisure incidents accounted for a further 24% while medical emergencies and falls made up a further 27%. In other words: they’re there for all the common crises in our lives.
Many people assume that air ambulances are part of the NHS but they’re not. NHS fees etc. contributed less than 5% of income last year. Every penny of the costs of running and maintaining the three craft, their crews and the headquarters operation behind them is met by fund raising.
Last year the bottom line figures showed:
Total income: £6,601,406 Total resources expended: £5,278,275
That’s a lot of money to raise: over £18,000 every single day of the year.
You never know when you will need them, but they are calling on you to help them today. As a charity reliant on the generosity of people like you to keep their helicopters flying, they require vital funds each day just to continue to reach those that most need their service.
There are so many ways in which you can get involved and support them. Here are just a few to get you started: