South West charity launches appeal
PUBLISHED: 12:00 11 July 2018 | UPDATED: 13:14 12 July 2018
The Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) needs to raise £1.25million to fund a new air-base in Almondsbury.
GWAAC has been forced to leave its home in Filton due to a housing development in the area and has until the end of the year to raise the money.
The charity launched the Buy Our Base appeal on Monday and have so far raised more than £1,100 towards a new air-base in North Bristol.
As well as the £1million needed to fund the base, the charity also needs to raise an additional £250,000 to buy the equipment needed to run one of the busiest air ambulance services in the country.
Already £1million has been gifted towards the scheme in the form of a Government grant to help support the new build.
GWAAC will move to Almondsbury later this year and the appeal will allow it to buy the site outright to protect its long-term future.
Its head of fundraising Emma Carter said: “The launch went really well, at the moment our hanger is subject to all sorts of weather conditions such as rain, wind and snow, which isn’t surprising considering the fact that it dates back to World War One.
“We also regularly have wildlife coming in through the cracks in the hanger, which is not ideal.
“As a charity we need to raise as much money as possible so we can have a permanent and comfortable home at a new base in Almondsbury.
“This would ensure we can continue our life saving work and give vital care to people across North Somerset and the South West.”
GWAAC provides life-saving critical care to people across North Somerset and the surrounding areas.
The charity’s work remains vital and the service has seen an almost 45 per cent increase in the number of incidents in North Somerset last year – with 206 calls being attended in 2017 compared to 143 in 2016.
To stay operational the air ambulance service need to raise £3million a year and receive no day-to-day funding from the Government. It operates 365 days a year attending five incidents a day in the South West on average.
For more information, or to make a donation in support of GWAAC’s Buy our Base appeal, visit www.greatwesternairambulance.com