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News Archive > General > New Heli Appeal hits 2.5m target

New Heli Appeal hits 2.5m target

By Simon Fernley 12th February 2020

New Heli Appeal hits 2.5m target
The new generation air ambulance that is set to soar in Cornwall´s skies.

A NEWQUAY-based lifesaving charity is celebrating after surpassing its fundraising target for a new air ambulance helicopter ahead of schedule.

Cornwall Air Ambulance at Trevithick Downs has topped the £2.5 million target for its New Heli Appeal, with two months of the appeal still to go.

The two-year fundraising campaign to help purchase a next generation helicopter was launched in April 2018.

Donations have since flooded in with supporters taking part in challenges, holding events and much more to fundraise for the charity.

Barbara Sharples, trustee and appeal board chair, said: “The New Heli Appeal has been a tremendous journey for everyone who cherishes Cornwall Air Ambulance and we have been overwhelmed by the support received from the public.

"A combination of hard work, dedication and incredible teamwork has meant we have surpassed our target before the end of the fundraising appeal.

“We all feel truly humbled by the fantastic efforts of supporters, whether they live in Cornwall or further afield. Every single person, business, community group and trust fund who has contributed receives our heartfelt thanks.

“We know lots of people are still raising money for the appeal and our message to them is to please keep going. All the money raised will go towards the cost of bringing the new helicopter home to Cornwall and making sure the crew are fully trained ready for the first mission in April.

"It is very exciting to think of what the final total will be.” The AW169 helicopter is currently in Gloucestershire, where a new medical interior is being fitted. It is scheduled to arrive in Cornwall at the end of February, when the pilots, critical care paramedics and doctors will start training on the new aircraft.

Paula Martin, Chief Executive of Cornwall Air Ambulance, said: “We are delighted to say that we will be the proud owners of a helicopter that is a first for this charity. “In just a few weeks’ time the helicopter will be flying around Cornwall. It is a fantastic aircraft, full of new technology, but it is what that helicopter will allow our clinical team to do that really counts – and that is saving more lives in Cornwall.

"Thank you to everyone who is enabling our crew to have the equipment they need to truly exploit their lifesaving skills.  “When that helicopter flies on its first lifesaving mission, everyone can feel very proud that they played a part in making it happen.”

Supporters will have the opportunity from March to see the new air ambulance for the first time, as the crew fly across Cornwall on training flights. It is due to be operational on April 1, the charity’s 33rd birthday.

By Simon Fernley 12th February 2020

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