Keswick fundraiser ‘Max Out in the Lake District’ has raised enough money to fund a Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) rapid response vehicle just in time for Christmas.
The critical care team from GNAAS were honoured to receive the vehicle at their most recent fundraising event, A Christmas Tail, which was held at The Old Pencil Factory in Keswick on Saturday 17 December.
Kerry Irving and his spaniel dogs Max, Paddy and Harry have raised approximately £600,000 for various charities over the years, after gaining a huge international following on their ‘Max Out in the Lake District’ social media pages.
In April this year, during a fundraising walk in aid of GNAAS, Kerry was presented with a certificate of appreciation, naming the dogs as honorary crew members of the charity in recognition of their fundraising efforts.
Sadly, Max passed away shortly afterwards, and now Kerry and his dogs Paddy and Harry are continuing Max’s legacy by raising further funds for numerous charities.
They have raised approximately £120,000 for GNAAS after hosting several community events, including picturesque walks around Buttermere and Tewet Tarn.
This has culminated in Kerry funding a brand-new Volvo XC90 to be used by the critical care team in Cumbria, which proudly displays Max’s pawprint.
Kerry presented the keys to Lee Salmon, head of operations west, at GNAAS, along with several members of the critical care team.
Kerry said: “Max our Springer Spaniel was there when I needed him and saved my life from depression.
“Max’s popularity went on to help thousands of other people up until he passed away in April.
“Helping others in need is the greatest gift we can all give and our community funded critical care vehicle given to GNAAS today, will help thousands of people in their hour of need.”
Since May 2021, a doctor and paramedic team from GNAAS have been operating on a rapid response vehicle on Friday and Saturday nights in Cumbria and have currently responded to more than 280 incidents in the car.
The team carry the same equipment that is on the aircraft, which operates during the daytime, meaning they can deliver the same level of care, including anaesthetic procedures, surgery, and blood transfusions.
GNAAS hope to eventually become a 24/7 service, but in order to achieve this goal they need more resilience in their fleet and 4×4 capability.
Their current Volvos at the charity are now four years old and have covered more than 100,000 miles, and when they require servicing or maintenance repairs, the team rely on Skoda vehicles which don’t have the same capabilities as a 4×4 or SUV.
By having an additional Volvo in the fleet, which will be moved into frontline service, this means the team now have an older Volvo as a backup which has the specifications needed to meet the current demands of the team.
Lee said: “Kerry has raised a phenomenal amount of money for GNAAS and I am humbled that the Max Out in the Lake District community will help us to continue saving lives throughout Cumbria. It’s an honour to have Max’s pawprint on the vehicle, knowing his legacy lives on through our life-saving work.”