Air Ambulance Northern Ireland (NI) is delighted to announce it has been recognised in two categories at the UK-wide Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence on 18th November at the Millennium Chelsea Harbour Hotel in London.

The charity received a Highly Commended Award in the Partnership of the Year category, for its recent work with Ulster Farmers Union (UFU) who worked to raise awareness and support of Air Ambulance NI among the farming and agricultural community during its 2018 centenary year celebrations. The UFU created an 18-month campaign which included creating a jointly branded centenary calendar, direct mail to members, fundraising and farm safety events, and saw 30 Ulster Farmers Union staff hike five peaks across the six counties of Northern Ireland to raise funds for the charity. Overall the UFU raised an outstanding £200,000 for Air Ambulance NI, doubling its initial target.

10-year-old Harry Smyth from Kilrea was also recognised for his achievements in helping to save lives. Harry was shortlisted in the ‘Outstanding Young Person Award’ category for his support of Air Ambulance NI in memory of his dad, Peter Smyth, who died in a tragic road traffic collision in February 2019. Since then, Harry has organised and taken part in ‘Harry’s Run’, a 12km charity run that raised more than £14,000 for both Air Ambulance NI and Harry’s primary school, Gorran Primary School. Harry and his family have continued to support Air Ambulance NI by volunteering at local events and fundraisers. Harry’s mum Caroline also took part in the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon as the Air Ambulance NI ambassador and Harry is already planning his next big event to raise funds for the charity, a Surf, 10k cycle & 5k run triathlon.



Speaking about the awards, Ray Foran, Chairman for Air Ambulance NI: “We are delighted that the fantastic support we receive from the Ulster Farmers Union and from Harry and his family has been recognised by the Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence. We are so thankful for their incredible support and it is great to see their efforts rewarded in this way.

“Fundraising support from businesses and local people across Northern Ireland is crucial to maintaining our vital air ambulance service as it relies on public donations to help keep our helicopter in the air. There is always a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) doctor and HEMS paramedic on board, so the service is crucial in times of trauma emergency.”

The Charity, Air Ambulance NI, in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS), provides the HEMS for the region and responds to seriously ill or injured patients 12 hours a day, 7 days per week. Air Ambulance NI has been tasked to more than 900 taskings since its inception in July 2017.

From its base near Lisburn, the air ambulance can reach any part of Northern Ireland in approximately twenty-five minutes. Its primary role is to deliver advanced care, benefitting those whose lives are at serious risk following significant injury or trauma, by bringing urgent medical assistance directly to the patient at the scene.

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