Thousands more for air ambulance charity

PUBLISHED: 15:59 26 February 2015 | UPDATED: 15:59 26 February 2015

GWAAC chief executive John Christensen, with MPs Chris Skidmore, George Osbourne, Jack Lopresti and Charlotte Leslie

GWAAC chief executive John Christensen, with MPs Chris Skidmore, George Osbourne, Jack Lopresti and Charlotte Leslie


THE future of the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) is now looking even more ‘financially secure’ after it was revealed it will receive £250,000 from Government funds.

GWAAC is one of 20 air ambulance charities from around the UK which will receive a share of £5million pledged by the Government from its Libor Fund, a pot of money created using fines levied on banks for their part in trying to manipulate the libor interest rate.

The funding has been pledged following extensive lobbying from the Association of Air Ambulances for more Government support. For GWAAC, the money will go toward the lifesaving work it carries out across the South West.

GWAAC chief executive John Christensen recently visited Downing Street with MPs and other charity representatives to outline to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, how the money would help them.

He said: “It was great to meet up with MPs Jack Lopresti, Charlotte Leslie and Chris Skidmore, who have been instrumental in helping us get this funding from the Chancellor.

“I was delighted to be able to tell the Chancellor how important this funding is to us, and how it will help us continue to provide this vital, lifesaving service.

“For the first time since I started GWAAC our future is looking financially secure.”

The funding was confirmed on Thursday at a meeting between Mr Osborne and the association, whose charity will distribute the money among the 20 charities set to benefit.

Mr Osborne said: “From enabling the fantastic air ambulance services to extend their flying hours, to helping build brand new specialist headquarters, this funding will play a vital role on helping to save hundreds of lives every year. It is absolutely right that we use funds from those who demonstrated the worst values to reward those who demonstrate the best, like our hardworking air ambulance crews.”

This latest funding announcement comes after it was also revealed in December that GWAAC would receive £1million from the Libor Fund toward the cost of its helicopter.

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