The Golden Sands Caravan Park in Benone held their first ever family fun day to raise vital funds for Air Ambulance Northern Ireland.
Nina Gurney was inspired to organise the event after the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) was tasked to the caravan site in July 2021, she was assisted by a group of fantastic volunteers from the caravan park who all helped make the event a great success. Although, this is not the only connection the local caravan park has to the charity. Niall Bradley who has a caravan at Golden Sands, was also treated by the medical team when he suffered a severe leg injury while playing football.
Nina Gurney, who works in health care, has a thorough understanding of the benefit air ambulance can bring to a patient who needs emergency pre-hospital care. The highly trained HEMS consultant and paramedic team provide critical care interventions at the scene of an incident before a patient reaches hospital, these interventions can include inducing a coma, surgical airway procedures or even a blood transfusion.
As well as championing the organisation of the family fun day event, Nina has also enrolled her daughter Molly in Junior Club AANI. This is one of the two membership clubs offered by the charity. The junior membership is for younger Air Ambulance NI supporters aged 0-18 who wish to learn more about the service and showcase their support with pride. All Club AANI member receive a welcome pack which is tailored to suit their age and are sent exclusive updates from the charity. You can find out more about both membership clubs at: www.airambulanceni.org
The family fun day was a huge success, it included various stalls to entertain the whole family, bingo, bouncy castles, a raffle and a sand sculpture of the air ambulance. The fundraiser raised a tremendous £11,330 including a sizeable donation from the park owners, this generous amount will fund two full days for Air Ambulance NI. Thanks to the success of the fun day, the caravan park have now established a group who will run the event again next year in aid of Children’s Heartbeat Trust.
Breige Mulholland, Head of Operation and Finance at Air Ambulance NI said: “We are so grateful to the Golden Sands Caravan Park, Nina Gurney and everyone who came along to the family fun day event. Since we first launched in July 2017, our service has been tasked to 2,430 incidents, over 235 of those taskings have been to the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Area. With a fundraising need of £5,500 per day, we really appreciate the generous support shown by the local community. By supporting our charity, you really are keeping our team flying and saving lives, brains and limbs. One of the easiest ways to support the charity is to become a Club AANI member or Junior Member like Molly. If you would like to join as a Club AANI member you can sign up today at: www.airambulanceni.org/club-aani-membership/”