FORMER patients of the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) are backing the charity’s fundraising campaign during a national awareness week.
GNAAS has launched a fundraising appeal for the forthcoming National Air Ambulance Week, which runs from September 19 to 25.
This year, the charity is asking supporters to sign up to its monthly text giving service, which donates £3 every month directly from supporters’ phone bills.
The campaign, which aims to provide the charity with a more sustainable income, has been supported by a group of former patients who have first-hand experience of the vital work of the air ambulance.
Dick Allaker, of High Pittington, near Durham, who survived a fireball when his motorcycle crashed in Thinford, said: “We couldn’t do without them. It’s a strange thing, but you don’t think you’re going to need them, until you do. And when they are there, they really are there.”
Suzanne Sharp, of Bywell, near Stocksfield, Northumberland, has battled back from a debilitating horse riding accident in 2011. She said: “I was in a really inaccessible place and if it wasn’t for the Great North Air Ambulance, I might not be here today, yet here I am, cycling, having fun, and I’m just very grateful.”
Scott Pohlman, of Berkshire, was competing in a motocross event at Lamplugh, near Workington, when he crashed, sustaining multiple serious injuries. He said: “I wouldn’t be here if they weren’t on the scene so fast, and took care of me the way did. I owe loads to them. I can’t thank them enough.”
Grahame Pickering MBE, GNAAS chief executive, said: “Last year we treated 846 patients throughout the region. We are now offering a more comprehensive level of care than ever before with blood and live plasma now on board our aircraft.
“Everything that enabled us to do that, from the helicopter itself, to its fuel and the equipment it carries, was paid for out of donations.
“We simply could not continue to reach all of our patients without the support of people in the region.
“By giving just £3 a month, you are helping to hand someone a life-line.”
Throughout the week, staff and volunteers from GNAAS will be out and about across the North-East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria meeting supporters and promoting the campaign.
If you would like to help by donating £3 a month from your mobile phone, please text SAVELIVES to 70660. Find out more here.
If you would like to help promote the campaign among family, friends or colleagues, a supporter pack is available by calling 01325-487263 or by emailing email@example.com