Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) officially launched their Charity of the Year partnership with Bristol Airport on Tuesday 28th May.
The charity, which provides the critical care and air ambulance services for Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire and surrounding areas, was voted in by Bristol Airport employees to be their nominated charity earlier this year.
The GWAAC Critical Care Team, who are on call 365 days a year, landed the air ambulance helicopter at Bristol Airport to officially launch the partnership, inviting those who have been involved in fundraising to come and have a look around the aircraft.
So far, employees have thrown themselves into supporting their local air ambulance, with over £2,000 raised already.
Anna Perry, CEO of GWAAC said: “It was great to meet the Bristol Airport team who have been fundraising for GWAAC already, and to hear their plans for more fun challenges later in the year. We believe that the partnership between Bristol Airport and GWAAC is a great fit, and we are so pleased that we were voted for as their Charity of the Year. I look forward to seeing all the fantastic things they get up to over the next year.”
On 15th May, eleven members of Bristol Airport’s Terminal Operations Team, including Rusty the cockapoo, climbed Mount Snowdon to begin their fundraising, and raised almost £1,500 for the charity, with many more future climbs in the pipeline.
Team member, Nick Pope, also completed the Bristol 10K on Sunday 5th May in aid of the charity partnership, and has set his sights on many more challenges along with his colleagues over the year, from golf days to a potential climb up Ben Nevis.
Nick said: “Everyone has their own personal stories for getting involved, and the nice thing is that staff voted for GWAAC. The staff love doing it for you guys, we want to help in some way and this is our way of doing that. I’ve worked on two first aid incidents where an air ambulance has been called, so it is a personal thing for me.”
Alongside the Terminal Operations Team, Bristol Airport Border Force Officers have also been getting involved, holding a 24 hour spin-cycle in order to raise money for GWAAC, and their nominated charity, Alzheimer’s Society. With 11 officers giving up their own time to support the event, the team cycled 625 miles over 24 hours, raising £565 for GWAAC.
In late June, three Officers from Border Force will also be travelling to Italy to take on the challenge of Stelvio Pass, Italy’s highest alpine road at 2.758 metres with 70 hairpin bends, to continue their fundraising.
David Lees, CEO of Bristol Airport, said: “It was a pleasure to meet the dedicated GWAAC team at Bristol Airport during their recent visit. The helicopter’s arrival caused a lot of excitement within the various teams at the Airport and provided an opportunity to meet the team that make the charity work on a daily basis and understand first-hand the vital role they play in providing critical care in an emergency. The Bristol Airport teams are inspiring and creative in their fundraising ideas for the charity, from participating in the Bristol 10k, climbing Snowdon, sponsored walks, cycling challenges and much more planned throughout the year. The £2,000 is a flying start to the fundraising taking place this year across the business in support of this fantastic local charity.”
Great Western Air Ambulance Charity receive no day-to-day funding from the Government or National Lottery and need over £3 million a year to remain operational, relying on the generosity and support of the local community and partnerships.