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The local business community got behind the fundraising appeal for Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s new airbase in Semington at Business Growth Group’s networking meeting in Melksham on Friday 8th December.
Business Growth Group (BGG) consists of 35 local business owners from around Wiltshire and Bath who meet every Friday at the Kings Arms in Melksham for breakfast and to share new business opportunities. The group invited Kevin Reed, head of operations, and Valerie Whistler, partnerships coordinator from Wiltshire Air Ambulance to attend a meeting to tell the group about their lifesaving work and the plans for the new airbase.
During their presentation, Kevin and Valerie shared information about their work, including that nearly 1,000 life saving missions were undertaken by Wiltshire Air Ambulance across Wiltshire and surrounding counties in 2016. Wiltshire Air Ambulance can get anywhere in the county within 11 minutes, providing rapid first aid in life-threatening situations. Valerie brought the statistics to life telling the story of a young man, Dylan, who had been involved in a serious motorcycle incident in Lechlade, using his father’s heartfelt words to explain how the quick response from Wiltshire Air Ambulance saved his life. Dylan has since run half marathons with family members and friends to raise money for Wiltshire Air Ambulance.
The other important figures shared by the Wiltshire Air Ambulance team include the £225,000 still needed to fund the new airbase, on top of the £3.25million annual running costs. Wiltshire Air Ambulance is a charity and relies almost entirely on public and corporate donations.
Kevin Wiltshire, BGG group chair and partner at Trowbridge-based Kings Court Financial Planning said, “It was a pleasure to have Wiltshire Air Ambulance share with us what their invaluable life-saving work involves, to hear of some of their amazing missions which resulted in lives saved and to learn how the business community can pledge their support. As a group, we are delighted to make a donation towards their new state-of-the-art base nearby.”
At the end of the meeting, Kevin Wiltshire presented a cheque for £500 on behalf of Business Growth Group to Wiltshire Air Ambulance.
“We are also keen to use our platform in the local business community to raise awareness,” says Kathryn Roynon, director of Corsham-based Kathryn Roynon HR & Training Consultancy and BGG committee member responsible for marketing. “Since Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s visit, we have been sharing information about their valuable work and how to get involved with fundraising through our website, local media and social networking platforms such as the weekly #wiltshour networking event – spreading the word as widely as possible.”
Valerie Whistler, partnerships coordinator at Wiltshire Air Ambulance said, “We would like to say a huge thank you to the Business Growth Group for inviting Kevin and I along to talk about the work of Wiltshire Air Ambulance and for their incredible generosity in donating £500 to our airbase appeal. Our new airbase will benefit the entire county and enable our specialist aircrew and helicopter to save many more lives in the future.”
It costs £8,904 a day to keep Wiltshire Air Ambulance flying. For more information about how you can support their vital work, see their website: www. wiltshireairambulance.co.uk