Air Ambulance Northern Ireland is thanking the L’Derry city community for coming together in recent months to show their support for the charity on the back of their busiest summer to date.

The Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) recently reported that July 2021 broke the record as their busiest month, with team being called out 78 times and clocking up 44 flying hours in total. The service which aims to save lives, brains and limbs has been tasked to the Derry City and Strabane District Council area 94 times from its inception in July 2017 to August 2021.

The charity held their second abseil at the Tower Museum on the 18th September which saw 12 local people conquering the 100ft drop on one of the city’s most iconic buildings. Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Graham Warke attended the event to show his support for Air Ambulance NI.  Participating in the abseil were two members from the Londonderry Chamber; Paul Clancy, CEO of Londonderry Chamber of Commerce and Aidan O’Kane, Allstate NI director. Abseiling alongside them was Karen McQuillan, Finance Director at Find Insurance. Find Insurance are the main sponsors of this year’s chamber dinner which Chamber President Dawn McLaughlin has chosen will benefit Air Ambulance NI. Also partaking in the adrenaline fuelling challenge was Caroline Doyle who is a member of the AANI agribusiness group and agricultural business manager for Barclays who are generously match funding Caroline’s donations.

The City of Derry Young Farmers Club celebrated their 60th anniversary this year and decided to mark the milestone by raising funds for Air Ambulance NI in memory of member Gordon’s father, David Crockett, who sadly lost his life last year in a farming accident. The young farmers have sourced a 60-year-old Fendt tractor and used it during  24hr plough at a family fun day in Eglington in September. The event raised over £7000 for the charity, which is a tremendous achievement and will fund just over 1 day of the service. They will now auction the 60 year old fendt tractor for the charity this Saturday 16 October, tickets are available to attend the auction via their Facebook page alternatively, you can view the auction online on the MartEye app under the Beattie Livestock Sales section.

However, the community support hasn’t stopped there. As well as these two wonderful events, shoppers at local Marks & Spencer’s Foyleside have been kindly donating through in store collection boxes during the health pandemic. 

Kerry Anderson, Head of Fundraising said, “We want to send this special message of thanks to our supporters across L’Derry City to let them know how much their support means to us.  Quite literally the service would be grounded without you.  This has been the busiest summer to date for the service which costs £5,500 every single day to maintain. Although this service forms a vital part of the frontline emergency services in Northern Ireland, our lifesaving missions need kind and generous support just like the community efforts we have witnessed recently throughout the city. The Air Ambulance NI volunteers and supporters are like no other, and we are immensely proud to have them as part of the service.”

Our charity is reliant on support from local volunteers particularly in the L’Derry and Strabane area. Volunteers help in all kinds of ways; from helping at supermarket bag packs and community events to managing collection boxes and representing the charity as ambassadors in the local community. If you can donate your time please contact us by emailing or calling 028 9262 2677.

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