Plymouth Brethren support local air ambulance charity’s campaign to upgrade helicopter
Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) are delighted that Plymouth Brethren Christian Church (PBCC) are supporting their campaign to upgrade their helicopter.
The charity, which provides an air ambulance service for the 2.1m people of Bristol, Bath and the surrounding counties, is currently trying to raise £250,000 of additional funds to replace its current helicopter, a Bölkow 105, with a Eurocopter EC135 as part of a campaign called ‘Movin’ on Up’. A new helicopter would attend to patients four minutes faster, would allow a mother and child to fly to hospital together and would allow more space for the patient, equipment and mid-air treatment.
The PBCC became aware of GWAAC and their cause after one of their members, Max Deans, nine, required their services in February 2013. Max was hit by a bus whilst visiting family in Swindon, Wiltshire. He sustained severe head injuries, and the crew from GWAAC, alongside Wiltshire Air Ambulance and road ambulance crews, provided critical care to Max before he was sedated and flown to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, arriving just 12 minutes later. Despite Max’s family being warned that he may need to spend months in hospital, he was able to be discharged just three weeks later.
Max’s family went on to raise £3650 for the charity, the largest donation of which came from the local PBCC Trust, based in Bristol, who supported Max and his family during their time in hospital. In June 2013 they visited the charity’s base in Filton, Bristol to meet the crew who went to Max’s aid.
Since then, having learned about the urgent need for the charity to upgrade their helicopter, the PBCC have announced that they are donating £35,000 match funding towards the campaign, allowing the charity to reach their target and upgrade to the newer helicopter much faster than they anticipated.
John Christensen, Chief Executive of GWAAC said: “We cannot thank the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church enough for their support of our ‘Movin’ on Up’ campaign.”
“The funds that they are donating really will help make our dreams a reality and allow us to upgrade our helicopter, which will ensure we can continue to provide a high level of emergency care for the people of our region for years to come.”
“However, the challenge for us still isn’t over, and we really need the support of our local community to help us raise the remaining funds.”
To find out more about GWAAC’s ‘Movin’ on Up’ campaign, please visit http://www.greatwesternairambulance.com/news/plymouth-brethren-support-movin-on-up and leave a donation under the ‘donation’ tab.