Letchworth health care service raises record donation for Magpas Air Ambulance

PUBLISHED: 15:08 22 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:14 22 February 2018

Hand in Hands visited the Magpas Air Ambulance base to present a cheque for £5,200. Picture: Magpas Air Ambulance

Hand in Hands visited the Magpas Air Ambulance base to present a cheque for £5,200. Picture: Magpas Air Ambulance

Archant

A Letchworth based care provider has raised a record amount of money in one evening for Magpas Air Ambulance, which saved the life of one of its senior workers.

Chris Inns (right) and the man who saved his life, Dr Simon Lewis. Picture: Magpas Air Ambulance. Chris Inns (right) and the man who saved his life, Dr Simon Lewis. Picture: Magpas Air Ambulance.

Chris Inns was left in a life-threatening condition when his motorbike collided with a car. He suffered skull, neck and pelvic fractures as well as severe injuries to his arms and legs.

In light of this, he and his team at Hand in Hands – a support service for adults with learning disabilities and autism – held a fundraiser disco and raised £5,200 for the emergency medical charity. Following the stresses of Christmas, staff put on the charity disco internally to give those benefitting from their services something to look forward to, and to raise money for the cause.

Tickets for the disco – held at the Letchworth Rugby Club – sold over capacity by 20, and with an extra 30 people buying tickets at the door, Director Michelle Dudderidge was told it was one of the biggest functions the venue had ever seen.

She told the Comet: “They said they’d never seen any event so big. We sold raffle tickets and all in all we raised £5,200. When we spoke to Magpas they said that it’s the biggest they’ve ever known for a one-evening event.

Hand in Hands raised more than £5,000 for Magpus Air Ambulance in one night. Picture: Michelle Dudderidge Hand in Hands raised more than £5,000 for Magpus Air Ambulance in one night. Picture: Michelle Dudderidge

“The charity relies purely on volunteers and donations We were told initially that the cost to run the air ambulance is £2,600 per day, so we were aiming for that.

“To come out of it with enough for two days is excellent. They were crying in the office they couldn’t believe it. We had no clue that it was going to be so huge. We were absolutely blown away.

“It was all down to Chris really, and if Magpas couldn’t attend the scene of his accident he wouldn’t be here today.”

Paramedics from Stevenage’s Lister hospital and Magpas air ambulance went to the scene of the accident in October 2012 before taking Chris to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

Around 200 people turned out for the Hand in Hands charity disco, in aid of Magpas Air Ambualnce. Picture: Michelle Dudderidge Around 200 people turned out for the Hand in Hands charity disco, in aid of Magpas Air Ambualnce. Picture: Michelle Dudderidge

Chris said: “I was taken to Addenbrooke’s where I stayed for eight weeks and had more than 15 operations in that time.

“I ended up with about 50 broken bones, no movement or sensation in my right arm and was in a wheelchair for a year after.

“Now I’m able to live independently – I don’t think I would be had I not had that treatment from Magpas in those early stages.”

He added: “Michelle was gracious enough to hold this year’s disco for Magpas. I take every opportunity I can to raise money for Magpas. I’ve done various bits before but nothing anywhere near as much as this and I’m so grateful to Magpas for their work, and Michelle for helping raise so much money.”

Michelle and Chris want to give special thanks to Tom Dean at SCD Solutions, Martin Green at Support UK, Flexible Training for their substantial donations, as well as Darren Hendricks for offering his DJ services for free at the event.

To find out more about Magpas and how to raise money go to magpas.org.uk.

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