From tackling some of Teesside’s highest peaks to bag packing in Tesco, a group of Stockton Riverside College students have raised more than £1,600 for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).
Their lecturer Mike Sadler’s son, Michael, was helped by GNAAS after a motocross accident in Redcar in 2015 but sadly could not be saved.
“The group had no idea how much they would raise, but once they got started there really was no stopping them,” said course leader Garreth Evans.
“Given the nature of their course it seemed only fitting that the students would choose to raise funds for an emergency service.”
Never one to shy away from a challenge, the group got the money rolling in with a supermarket bag pack.
But being an adventurous bunch it wasn’t long before they progressed on to a more physical challenge, heading to Cleveland Way on a freezing winter day to tackle its three peaks challenge.
Facing bracing temperatures and plenty of mud, Garreth said: “The students rise to every challenge that we set them. We headed out on a particularly cold and windy day but they just got on with it.”
Student Alicia Dryden, 18, of Billingham, said: “It was nice to be able to do something that makes a real difference and helps the place that we live.”
Hoping to one day work for the ambulance service herself, Alana Usher, 16, of Billingham, said: “It is a cause that means a lot to people, whenever anyone saw that we were raising money for the air ambulance they wanted to make a donation.”
The money will now go towards helping keep the helicopter in the sky.
David Gibson, Public Liaison Officer for the GNAAS, said: “With no Government funding we rely on donations like this. To continue our work the GNAAS needs to raise £4.9m a year.”
Flying three air ambulance helicopters across the North-east, North Yorkshire and Cumbria, the service responds to an average of six emergency calls a day, 365 days a year.