On Saturday 16th December, Albert Desmond (Dessie) Connery will be raising vital fund for Air Ambulance NI, through a unique exhibition at the Village Centre in Hillsborough.

Back in 2016 & 2017 Dessie spent many months in the neurosurgeon ward in the Royal Victoria Hospital, suffering from a brain tumour. When Dessie returned home, he started to complete jigsaws to keep his mind occupied and this is where his wonderful fundraising idea blossomed.

Following Dessie’s recovery, he decided to hold his first fundraising exhibition in October 2021, raising over £1,800 for Ward 4F of the Royal Victoria Hospital.

Two years on from his first event, Dessie has more than 100 new jigsaws to display at his exhibition this December, in support of Air Ambulance NI. Included in the jigsaws to be displayed at the exhibition is a jigsaw of the Helicopter Emergency Medical Team (HEMS), which Dessie will present to the charity after his event.

The exhibition will take place on Saturday 16th from 10am and 3pm. Between 11am and 3pm you can pick a jigsaw, dismantle it if you wish and put it back in the original box. All jigsaws also come with their own board, which are perfect to frame.

The charity Air Ambulance NI (AANI), in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, provides the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) for Northern Ireland. The HEMS team attend patients who are seriously ill or injured, bringing emergency prehospital care direct to the casualty, operating seven days a week for 12 hours per day. It can get to anywhere in Northern Ireland in approximately twenty-five minutes with the aim of saving lives, brains, and limbs.

Grace Williams, Area Fundraising Manager for AANI commented; “We are so grateful to Dessie for choosing to support Air Ambulance NI in this most unique way! It was so great to meet Dessie, to hear his inspiring story and reasons for supporting the incredible work of the charity.

The funds raised will help the medical team lift off by helicopter to reach future patients, who are in critical need of emergency medical interventions.  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 the Dessie for all the hard work he has put into organising this amazing event. I would like to encourage everyone to attend his event on 16th December, as it is sure to be a fantastic day.”

Air Ambulance NI aspires to raise £2.5million each year to maintain and sustain this service, so public donations are crucial. Find out more by visiting www.airambulanceni.org alternatively you can contact the charity directly by emailing info@airambulanceni.org or calling 028 9262 2677.

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