On Friday 30th June staff from the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) held their first formal in ten years at the Dunsilly Hotel, Antrim raising £5664 for local charity, Air Ambulance NI. 

The event, which was organized by a small committee of NIAS personnel, included a meal and entertainment for NIAS staff and their partners, and raffle items were secured from local businesses to help the committee reach their fundraising goal.

Patrick Durkin from the NIAS Staff Formal committee talked about how the event came to be, “Working alongside the HEMS paramedics in Ambulance Control, we see the great work they do every day. After a familiarization day at the airbase, a number of staff became interested in doing more to support the team.  Having previously attended formal fundraiser events with NIAS over a decade ago, we knew the potential hosting such an event could have. We are very pleased with the success of the night and the funds raised for such a vital charity.”

Both Patrick and his colleague, Charlotte Law, were delighted to make the journey to the charity headquarters in Lisburn for a tour of the airbase and to hand over their donation.

Colleen Milligan from the charity said, “Everyone at our charity is so grateful for the contribution from the NIAS Staff Formal that will help give the best chance to future patients.  It costs £2.5 million in fundraising each year to sustain the HEMS so all support is crucial. The AW109 helicopter can reach anywhere in the province in approximately 25 minutes and the HEMS deliver interventions that can be the difference between life and death.  We want to sincerely thank our hard-working colleagues from NIAS who organised and supported this fundraiser and thank also those businesses who donated so generously to the raffle.”

NIAS Staff Charlotte Law and Patrick Durkin hand over donation to HEMS Paramedic Phil Hay and HEMS Doctor Ciaran McKenna

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