The Helipeno Challenge - Great Western Air Ambulance Charity
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February 15, 2023
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March 1, 2023

The Helipeno Challenge

Following the launch of our Great Western Hearts project, we realised we needed to put our money where our mouth is and raise funds for an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to be installed right here at GWAAC HQ.

Every year in the UK 30,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital. For every minute that passes, a person's chance of survival goes down by 10%. Sadly, only 1 in 10 survive.

An AED is an easy-to-use medical device that can deliver an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to someone who is in cardiac arrest. It is an essential part in trying to save their life. CPR should be done until a defibrillator reaches the person.

Right now, only 40% of people receive early CPR and fewer than 2% have a defibrillator used prior to the ambulance arriving. The availability of AEDs and the knowledge of how to use them is inadequate.

We wanted to do something about this.

We wanted to make a fundraiser to remember and were lucky enough to partner with the wonderful guys at Clifton Chilli Club and the Helipeno Challenge was born.

We had 6 brave contestants from GWAAC – Wayne, Sophy, Sean, Joe, Jim and Charlie. They were taking on our neighbours at Funky Pigeon and Global Vans. In the end, 13 contestants put their mouths on the line to win the title of County Gates Chilli Champ.

The 27th of Jan rolled around, and we gathered at The Ashton Inn to support the madness.

Each contestant was sponsored by friends, family and even enemies to take part and we raised a whopping £3,331!

Check the video below to see how they did!

Taking part in the chilli eating competition was the strangest and scariest fundraising challenge I’ve ever been involved in. We ate around 13 different chillies getting hotter and hotter each time. I remember that even the 2nd and 3rd chillies were really spicy and I think we all wondered if we would be able to eat any more!

The whole time there was a glass of milk on the table in front of us – it would ease the pain but to have any meant instant disqualification! It was incredible to have raised so much money and I think we all felt we had to keep going as long as we could bear thanks to the amazing support!

GWAAC's Wayne Davey (Senor Spicey)

Our defibrillator will be installed in the next few weeks… watch this space for updates.

If you have any crazy, silly, or plain right ridiculous ideas to fundraise for your own AED, we would love to hear from you.