The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) is set to open a new Cumbrian fundraising office and the charity has appealed for the support of local businesses to help furnish it.
The charity, which operates the Pride of Cumbria air ambulance from its base at Langwathby, will open its office in Penrith town centre in April.
The Sandgate premises will serve as a hub for the charity’s community fundraising effort.
The Pride of Cumbria costs up to £2m a year to run, depending on how busy it is. It is also assisted by the other GNAAS aircraft, which regularly fly missions into the county from the charity’s other permanent base at Durham Tees Valley Airport. The three aircraft and their crew rely on donations from the public to survive.
Stacy Hucker, GNAAS public liaison in Cumbria, said: “Our aircraft fly more than 500 missions in Cumbria every year, which is a seriously expensive undertaking. Having this small fundraising base in the heart of the area we serve will allow us to work towards safeguarding the future of the air ambulance.”
“We have a small group of volunteers in the county and this will provide us with somewhere to coordinate their efforts. We can’t wait to move into our new home.”
The charity has secured the office on a lease but must now furnish the property. It needs to find carpets, blinds, desks and a meeting table and chairs.
Mrs Hucker added: “If anyone can help us with any of these items we would be sure to put them to good use. We would be hugely grateful to anyone who can help out in any way.”
The charity wished to thank the Penrith Co-operative, Morrison’s in Penrith, Tesco in Carlisle and Asda in Carlisle, which had all come forward to offer their support already.
The charity already has a committed squad of volunteers who will work in the office, but needs more people to come forward to help.
Volunteers can expect to partake in general administration work, greeting visitors and selling merchandise among other duties.
The office is located opposite the bus station. GNAAS hopes to open it next month.
If anyone can help, please contact GNAAS on 01325-487263 or email firstname.lastname@example.org