Ray Winstone joins fundraising drive for Essex & Herts Air Ambulance

Ray Winstone supporting Essex & Herts Air Ambulance

Ray Winstone supporting Essex & Herts Air Ambulance - Credit: Archant

If there’s one thing that amazes people more than the remarkable work done by the Doctors and Paramedics of Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT), it’s the way the organisation is funded.

Essex & Herts Air Ambulance

Essex & Herts Air Ambulance - Credit: Archant

Although crews work side by side with publically-funded `blue light’ services such as the police, fire and ambulance services, unlike them it is a charity which receives no funding from central government.

Put simply, without the support of the people of Essex and Hertfordshire EHAAT could not continue with its crucial work. Work that last year saw crews treat more than 1,500 patients.

Although the Critical Care Teams on board the helicopter can reach anywhere in Essex or Herts in around 15 minutes, it’s not just about speed.

The Pre-hospital Care Doctor and Critical Care Paramedics are able to carry out life-saving procedures which would otherwise need to wait until a patient reached hospital. Thanks to their specialist training and equipment their aim is to `bring the hospital to the patient’.

Essex & Herts Air Ambulance

Essex & Herts Air Ambulance - Credit: Archant

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Such advanced care doesn’t come cheap.

Each year the Charity needs more than six million pounds, or over £500,000 each month to cover all costs. It’s money that is raised through its popular Flight for Life Lottery, community fundraising events, donations, legacies, as well as raffles and events organised by EHAAT.

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In addition to the tens of thousands of people across the two counties who put their hands in their pockets to support the Charity’s work, it relies on hundreds of volunteers who help with everything from selling merchandise and marshalling at events to distributing collecting tins and giving talks to community groups.

During National Air Ambulance Week (NAAW), teams of volunteer collectors were out at sites across Essex and Hertfordshire asking for donations for the Charity.

Essex & Herts Air Ambulance

Essex & Herts Air Ambulance - Credit: Archant

The Charity’s most high-profile volunteer is actor Ray Winston, its Celebrity Patron. Ray, star of movies such as `Sexy Beast’ and `Beowulf’, donated a day of his acting talents to help EHAAT produce promotional material which will be seen over the coming months.

During NAAW, when air ambulances across the country were raising awareness of their work, Ray’s familiar face appeared on everything from social media to advertising hoardings.

He said: “It’s a pleasure to volunteer with Essex & Herts Air Ambulance, they always make me feel welcome with a bacon sandwich on arrival!”

During his time with the Charity, Ray expressed surprise how much money the people of the two counties donate each year in order to keep the service operational.

“This Charity needs over £6 million a year, unbelievable - I don’t think many people realise they don’t receive central Government funding”.

Numerous as the Charity’s volunteer collectors are, they can’t be everywhere, so if you’d like to donate but can’t do so in person, you can give by calling 0345 2417 690 or by visiting ehaat.org/donate

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