Lurgan lady, Jean Morrow celebrated her 100th birthday on the 3rd May this year by asking for donations to Air Ambulance NI.  Speaking about why she chose to support the charity, the great-grandmother who has 38 great grandchildren explained, “I was turning 100 years old on the 3rd May and at this stage in life I have everything I need so I asked if any family who wished to mark the occasion would make a small donation to Air Ambulance NI in lieu of presents.  It is a charity close to my heart and I had hoped to raise £1 for every year of my life but was completely overwhelmed by the amount received.”    

On Saturday 12th June, Jean along with her daughters, Mary and Helen and her granddaughter Trudy, visited the Air Ambulance NI base to present the charity with the donation of £2,859 raised online through Just Giving.  Speaking on behalf of the charity, Colleen Milligan said, “We were absolutely delighted to receive the news that Jean was supporting Air Ambulance NI in lieu of gifts for her 100th birthday.  Just looking at her beautiful photos and the volume of support she received, we knew she was a real inspirational lady.  When we got to meet Jean and her family at the base on Saturday, she really uplifted us all.  Such a happy, kind and strong lady and we felt so privileged to meet her.  Jeans donation will certainly go towards helping the HEMS team bring that emergency pre-hospital care direct to patients who are seriously ill or injured.  They cannot do this job without donations, so we are truly grateful to Jean for her selfless support and wish her a very Happy 100th Birthday!” 

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 region, 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 March 2021 the medical crew have been tasked 2,114 times. The service has been called out on 229 occasions from January – March 2021, an increase of 30 % on the previous year and a 73% increase from 2018.  

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.  Air Ambulance NI needs to raise £2million each year to maintain this service, fundraising has been severely impacted by Covid19 so now more than ever public donations and fundraisers such as Joy Kerrie’s skydive are crucial.   

If you have been inspired to support this life-saving service, there are a number of exciting upcoming events you can participate in. On Friday 10 September you can take part in the charity’s Dragon Boat Races and have a go at paddling up the River Lagan as part of a team of 12-20 people.  Whether it’s a workplace, family, or friends’ team, you will have two timed trials to determine if you make the semi-finals and finals to compete for the coveted title of overall champion! If that’s not for you then you can face your fears in an abseil of the Tower Museum in L’Derry on Saturday 18 September, or abseil off Belfast Castle on Sunday 8th August. Or if running is more your speed, you could take on an element of the Belfast City Marathon on Sunday 19 September. Find out more and sign up to a challenge that suits you by visiting alternatively you can contact the charity directly by emailing or calling 028 9262 2677.  


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