Shanes Castle May Day Steam Rally is delighted that its 2021 event has enabled fundraising of £10,500.  Their chosen charity was Air Ambulance Northern Ireland and a band of willing volunteers fundraised at the weekend event.

Full support was given to the charity volunteers to maximise funds with a dedicated stand space at the event, permission for collections across the site and very generous donations from the exhibitor’s entry fees.  The charity was represented by air ambulance patient Simon Osborne from Ballymoney along with his friends and family who came from as far as Newcastle, Co. Down to help.  Simon was involved in a serious road traffic collision in 2019 and despite life changing injuries has made a fantastic recovery.

Simon said, “It’s great that events are back to help raise funds for charity and Air Ambulance NI needs approximately £5,500 every day.  Our family had two long and enjoyable days of fundraising. We’d like to thank Shane’s Castle Rally and the event organisers for choosing the charity and all those who donated.  People were incredibly generous with donations and sales of branded items were at record levels.  It was also lovely to meet some other Air Ambulance patients at the event.  The Air Ambulance service does an incredible job, and we get a buzz fundraising to give something back.”

The charity Air Ambulance NI, together with Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, provides the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) for Northern Ireland 365 days of the year.

Rally Directors Ian Duff and Matthew Hull visited the charity airbase to learn about the HEMS service prior to the event and it is now hoped the Stewards, Marshals, volunteers and staff who make the event happen will be able to do the same.  Walter McNeill, a Director of Shanes Castle Vintage Steam Group said, “We were very glad to support the Air Ambulance NI and delighted that they will now be able to reach more patients who are critically ill. Many people throughout the weekend told us ‘You never know when you might need their services’. The Osbornes worked really hard and we are all pleased and very proud with this our biggest total to date.”

Shanes Castle May Day Steam Rally is sponsored by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and Tourism Northern Ireland and hopes its 2022 event will return to its usual May Day Bank Holiday Weekend dates of Sunday 1st and Monday 2nd May 2022. Keep an eye on their website and

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