Ballyclare Rugby Club held a 4th XV Challenge Match on New Year’s Eve in memory of esteemed club member, Davy Gardner, with over 500 in attendance treated to a spectacle of flamboyant running rugby.

The event raised a staggering £13,535 for the charity Air Ambulance NI, helping save the lives of individuals who have been in a traumatic incident or extreme medical emergency.  The charity, working with partners at the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service exists to ensure the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service is there for those who need it and currently it is needed on average twice per day.

The Ballyclare Rugby Club President, Kenny Wylie and Club Member Niall Lamont were welcomed to the Air Ambulance NI base to hand over their incredible donation to Area Fundraising Manager at the charity, Grace Williams. 

Grace said, “We are so grateful to Kenny, Niall and everyone who organized and participated in the match for their wonderful support – it was such a lovely tribute to Davy Gardner.

It was so great to officially meet them and thank them in person for their incredible fundraising efforts.  The funds raised will help the medical team lift off by helicopter to reach future patients, wherever that may be in Northern Ireland.  This is very much a service that no one wishes to need but is there for every one of us.  

As a service we rely heavily on charitable donations to keep the medical team in the air, delivering critical care to patients who have suffered trauma throughout Northern Ireland – without this type of support, the team simply couldn’t fly.  Every single penny counts. We want to say a huge thank you  to Ballyclare Rugby Club and everyone who attended, for this amazing support.”

The charity Air Ambulance Northern Ireland, in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, provides the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service for Northern Ireland.  The service brings urgent medical assistance to anywhere in the province, operating seven days a week for 12 hours per day. It can get to anywhere in Northern Ireland in approximately twenty-five minutes. From inception to the medical crew have been tasked 3,434 times.

The HEMS team attend patients who are seriously ill or injured, bringing emergency pre-hospital care direct to the casualty with the aim of saving lives, brains and limbs. The charity cherishes connecting with former patients and patient families. If you, or one of your family members, have been treated by the HEMS Crew please get in touch with Air Ambulance NI by calling 028 9262 2677.

Air Ambulance NI aspires to raise £2million each year to maintain and sustain this service so public donations are crucial. You can contact us directly by emailing or calling 028 9262 2677.

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