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£1,000 Cash Boost Keeps Hunts Air Ambulance Team Up In The Air, Following Lifesaving Rescue

20 Jan £1,000 Cash Boost Keeps Hunts Air Ambulance Team Up In The Air, Following Lifesaving Rescue

An air ambulance team saving lives across Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and the East of England has given thanks after it received a bursary donation from a homebuilder.

Magpas Air Ambulance, which undertakes lifesaving work across a dozen counties, serving a population of 10 million, has received a £1,000 grant from housebuilder CALA Homes (North Home Counties).

The donation from CALA forms part of the homebuilder’s bursary initiative, which has seen £20,000 given to charities across the region since the start of the year.

With Covid-19 putting a pause on in-person fundraising activity, Magpas Air Ambulance has reported its most challenging year in over half a decade, but the charity says donations like CALA’s have created a vital lifeline. The welcome boost has allowed the team to continue their mission to save lives by taking pre-hospital emergency care to patients in their moment of need via air ambulance or rapid response vehicle.

With influence across the region, and with 50 years’ experience saving people’s lives, the donation to the Magpas Air Ambulance team follows support received by one of CALA’s employees, nearly two decades ago.

John Wilson, Sales Consultant at CALA Hampton Lakes, Peterborough, recalls being rescued by the Magpas team 17 years ago.

John was a passenger on a motorbike with his dad, which crashed into a car at 60mph, on the outskirts of Northampton. Only 15 at the time, John suffered life-threatening injuries after breaking both of his femurs and damaging his wrists in the collision.

He said: “It was a really horrific accident to be involved in at such a young age, but thankfully, I had a really fast response from the air ambulance crew, which undoubtedly saved my life.

“I was on the back of my dad’s bike when we crashed, which see-sawed me up in the air and sent me flying nearly 90 feet into a hedge. Luckily, my dad was uninjured, but I was in a really bad way with compound fractures. The fire brigade turned up first, strapped me to a board, and identified that I was in desperate need of an air ambulance.

“The Magpas Air Ambulance team turned up within 20 minutes of the crash, and after flying to hospital, I underwent immediate surgery. It all went well, but my recovery to walk again took nearly four months – less than ideal in my GCSE year at school!

“I’m now 32 and married with two kids and a wife – none of which would have been possible if it wasn’t for the support of the charity and the crew. That’s why I always put some money in the air ambulance buckets when I’m out shopping – suffice to say, what goes around comes around!”

Lucy Chapman, Director of Fundraising and Marketing at Magpas Air Ambulance said: “During the last year alone, we’ve been called out to over 1,289 patients and our 24/7, 365 days a year service, means our advanced doctors and critical care paramedics are ready day and night to bring lifesaving care to patients across the region.

“As with most charities, the pandemic saw most of our fundraising activity grind to a halt. The fundraising team quickly needed to raise vital funds in order for our frontline medical team to continue providing emergency medical care, and we’ve been delighted with the support.

“Magpas Air Ambulance responds, on average, to four emergencies each day and treats 900 patients with life threatening emergencies every year – every one of the missions we attend costs thousands of pounds. Therefore, every penny raised really does make the world of difference, as we receive no regular government funding, and we would simply cease to operate if it wasn’t for our loyal supporters like CALA.”

The charity formed part of several other good causes across Northern Home Counties who received a share of £20,000 through CALA’s bursary scheme.

The Community Bursary initiative invites charities, voluntary organisations and community groups to apply for a share of funding from CALA, with more than 300 worthy causes now having received over £300,000 since CALA launched the initiative in 2016.