Air Ambulance tech earns prize nomination as MP marks 30-year milestone - The Rugby Observer

Air Ambulance tech earns prize nomination as MP marks 30-year milestone

Andy Morris 22nd Sep, 2017   0

A CHARITY which launches life-saving flying doctors around the UK has been shortlisted for a prestigious prize for its use of technology.

The Rugby-based Air Ambulance Service was nominated for a 2017 Charity Award for using innovative software to raise funds from goods sold online.

The charity – which operates services for Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland, as well as the national Children’s Air Ambulance – has made £156,000 from selling books, DVDs, CDs, videos and toys to 25,000 customers across Europe since introducing the software in July 2016.

As well as the income – which is vital for keeping lifesaving helicopters airborne – the sales have attracted more volunteers and employees.

The software lets staff and volunteers in the charity’s 50 shops to scan donated goods to find out what they are worth. Items over a minimum amount are then sent to a central warehouse to be sold on Amazon.

The charity’s online trading manager Izak Pover said: “Each mission we fly costs £1,700 and as we receive no government funding and rely on public donations to remain operational it is vital that we raise as much as we can from donated items.

“Using the software ensures we achieve the maximum value and reduces the margin of error in pricing.”

The winners of the awards, which celebrate best practice among UK charities, will be announced on October 4 at a gala dinner in Central London.

THE CHARITY has also been praised by Rugby’s MP as it celebrates 30 years in the air.

Mark Pawsey – also Vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Air Ambulances – joined MPs to mark the beginning of National Air Ambulance Week 2017.

Rugby MP Mark Pawsey (left) and MP Jim Fitzpatrick marked National Air Ambulance Week and the charity’s 30th anniversary. (s)

This year the focus is the 30th anniversary of the formation of the first air ambulance service, which now covers the whole of the UK.

Mr Pawsey also sponsored the Air Ambulance’s Annual Dinner which brought together trustees, staff and supporters.

Chief executive Andy Williamson spoke of the work of Children’s Air Ambulance which has commissioned two new helicopters to provide intensive care to critically ill children across the UK.

Mr Pawsey said: “The work of the Air Ambulance Trusts throughout the country is really inspiring. Every day they fly on lifesaving missions and so far this year they have already attended nearly 100 missions within five miles of Rugby.

“During National Air Ambulance Week, we have heard from some of those who would not be here today if it not for their work.”

“What is most remarkable is they are all charities and do not seek government or National Lottery funding.

“Their ethos is that they are capable of raising the funding they need to operate independently and I know from personal experience that Rugby residents have always generously supported their important work.”

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