Community spirit propels Air Ambulance Open Day to success

By Linden Jones in Charity

LOCAL lifesaving helicopter service, Cornwall Air Ambulance, has just closed the doors on their ever popular open day event - despite the less than forgiving weather. However, even the pouring rain couldn’t dampen the community’s strong enthusiasm for the lifesaving service as almost 800 people descended on the charity’s airbase HQ near Newquay to support the cause.

The day saw the hangar buzzing with people of all ages. There were smiles all around as visitors got the chance to meet the helicopters’ heroic teams, see and enter one of the helicopters and even munch on the moreish cakes on offer.

Also, supporters of the charity were able to hear first-hand from paramedics and the pilot about what it’s like to go on a Cornwall Air Ambulance mission.

Other popular features of the day included the bake sale, chances to win a cuddly companion out of the mass of teddies on offer, clothes and merchandise were available from the pop-up charity shop and other stalls dotted around and youngsters got a chance to show off their creative side with the colouring competition.

The CAA team were clearly delighted with the support from the public. It costs £3m per year to operate the service, and with no National Lottery or direct government funding, the charity relies on the generosity of the people and businesses of Cornwall.

Due to the generosity and support of the people of Cornwall, the air ambulance is able to fly over 700 lifesaving missions a year.

The day attracted several guests who have had first-hand experience of the valuable work the air ambulance provides to the community.

Local woman, Emily Vincent, is one such example. When family member, Jace Vincent, needed immediate medical attention, the Cornwall Air Ambulance was there to help.

Speaking of the amazing work the air ambulance service provides, Emily said: “It’s the reassuring feeling knowing that if anything is to happen again to him, because he’s got multiple problems still, that they are just a call away.

“If the ambulance can’t get him to hospital quickly enough, we know that the air ambulance is there. More people need to be made aware that it’s completely funded by the people because I hadn’t known that. That’s why we held a fundraising event for them recently with a big dance fun day with bouncy castles. We danced from 11am-3pm - children and adults.”

Thanks to the ambulance’s work Emily, Jace and family were at the open the day, enjoying happier times.

Becky Wise, Senior Fundraising Officer at Cornwall Air Ambulance, said: “The open day was a huge success and we’d like to thank everyone who came along to see the helicopter, meet the crew, bag a bargain and eat delicious cakes. The hangar was a sea of smiling faces and we hope to see everyone again soon.”

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