A FUNDRAISER has backed the latest campaign to support the region’s air ambulance after completing a 24 hour cross-Pennine challenge in aid of the charity.
John Alway’s journey began on September 16 at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle, where he walked, ran and even grass-skied, a 63-mile route to Ousby, the site in which his uncle, Billy, was airlifted from on March 15, 2014.
Billy Alway, 60, was tending to his horse Casper, when the door of a horse box fell and struck him on his head, breaking his neck, which left Billy paralysed. The life-changing event never deterred Billy from his love of fundraising for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS), until he tragically passed away from a brain tumour a year to the date of Mr Alway’s trek.
The 42-year-old from West Sussex, completed the trek in memory of his uncle, which involved more than 2000m of climbing over 24 hours.
Mr Alway said he was now behind the National Air Ambulance Week campaign because he wants to share the passion his uncle displayed towards the GNAAS.
He said: “Billy loved the charity. He understood the darker side of the Pennines, and the need for the air ambulance.
“Two members of my family required the air ambulance in their hour of need, and they were there for both of them. You never really think about it, until you need them.”
GNAAS is encouraging supporters to get involved in donating £3 a month through their text giving service during National Air Ambulance Week, which runs from September 19 to 25. The annual event is aimed at raising awareness and boosting the fundraising efforts of the UK’s air ambulances.
Mandy Drake, head of fundraising at GNAAS, said: “We would like to thank John for choosing to support our charity, and completing this amazing challenge.
“National Air Ambulance Week is an opportunity for us to display our great work which we carry out across the region, which we simply couldn’t continue without the generosity from our supporters.”
To support GNAAS this National Air Ambulance Week, text SAVELIVES to 70660.