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Essex & Herts Air Ambulance urges supporters to brighten up the darker evenings

25 Nov Essex & Herts Air Ambulance urges supporters to brighten up the darker evenings

Supporters of Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) are doing their best to bring some brightness to the long winter evenings and raise money for the life-saving charity.

Each year EHAAT’s `Lights for Flights’ festive fundraising initiative sees householders across Essex and Hertfordshire lighting up their properties in aid of their local air ambulance.

One of the first off the mark this year was Graham Smitherman from Wickford in Essex who had lights on his property before the end of October, with the full display going live on November 28th.

Graham says: “The display this year is mainly Pixel LED lighting which means we can control every individual LED to turn on or off with a choice of when we want. It is very cool, but it took a lot of planning and time building it. We have spent hours every week since March doing something related to the display, whilst also working full time and joining in other fundraising events for EHAAT.”

His amazing display uses 3,610 LEDs controlled by four Raspberry Pi computers. The display includes a train with smoke effects and cash donations slot, a vintage helicopter from an arcade ride and an audio system that synchronises the music to the display.

Graham explains: “We also have the ability to throw any messages, video or pictures onto a matrix screen that is outside the house. Passers-by can scan in a QR code on their phone which takes them straight to a fundraising page at , where they can donate to EHAAT.

“We chose EHAAT as a charity to support because of it being a local charity close to our hearts as bikers, and the fact that it provides emergency care to anyone at any time, biker or pedestrian. You never know when it could be the difference between life and death”.

EHAAT is letting supporters know that despite the pandemic, there are still plenty of ways to get festive, have some fun and raise money for the charity, which relies on public support to remain operational.

Natasha Robertson, Fundraising Manager at EHAAT said, “Santa isn’t the only one who will be flying this Christmas and we are so grateful to supporters such as Graham who want to raise money whilst getting into the Christmas spirit.

“Our committed team remain dedicated and ready and able to save lives when someone is having the worst day of their life, even on Christmas Day. That’s why now we need support from the people and businesses of Essex and Hertfordshire this festive season.

“Fundraising efforts have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen events and initiatives being cancelled and postponed during the lockdowns, so if you’d like to raise money please let us know, we would love to hear from you.

“Whatever your fundraising idea is, it won’t take much to give it a festive twist and help keep us flying. Our fundraising elves are ready and waiting to hear from you and can help your fundraising take off!”

On Thursday 17th December the charity is inviting supporters to a free online Christmas celebration event. It will be full of festive songs, inspiring readings and some behind the scenes stories about EHAAT’s life-saving work this year. You can sign up for free via the charity’s website.

To support EHAAT’s Festive Fundraising initiative, sponsored by Raine and Co, visit or call the Fundraising Team on 0345 2417 690