The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) is looking for residents to help sell raffle tickets to help it meet the rise in demand, after responding to 45 incidents over the past two weekends alone.
The same two weekends last year – when COVID restrictions remained heightened – saw the charity’s teams respond to 17 incidents.
Andy Mawson, director of operations at GNAAS, said: “Demand is much higher than last year, and at times has been higher than ever before.
“The problem is that although demand is now back to normal levels, our fundraising remains lower than where we need it to be.”
The 45 incidents were spread across the charity’s entire area, with 15 in Cumbria, 27 in the North East and three in North Yorkshire.
Road traffic incidents made up the bulk, with 12 related call-outs. There were eight call-outs to falls and a further eight to suspected assaults.
Andy said: “As ever, we never know what we are facing from one day to the next, but with the support of the public, we can be ready when needed.”
Through cancelled fundraising events and activity, the charity estimates it is losing more than £100,000 a month.
“It’s great to see that our teams have been there to respond to so many critical incidents,” added Andy. “But the more we are called-out, the greater our costs.”
Last year the charity raised £180,000 through its annual raffle. It is hoping to beat that this year and is asking residents who can help them sell tickets to get in touch.
Volunteers can receive tickets through the post or be given a digital code to share among friends and family.
Andy said: “The population of the North of England have shown us true devotion and it’s our duty to be there for those that need us and to make those that support us proud.
“GNAAS is a service for everybody and every single ticket we sell helps us to be there when someone needs us most.”
Tickets will be £1 each, with all the money coming to GNAAS. A £10,000 top prize is on offer for the winner of the raffle, which will launch next month.
To sign up to receive your tickets ahead of launch, please visit www.gnaas.com/raffle or call 01325 487 263 to register your interest.