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£2.5m target reached for new Cornwall Air Ambulance

£2.5m target reached for new Cornwall Air Ambulance

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 12:41pm 11th February 2020.

Cornwall Air Ambulance has reached its £2.5 million target for a brand new life-saving helicopter.

The New Heli Appeal was launched back in April 2018 with the aim of raising enough money for a new start-of-the-art air ambulance.

Since then, donations have flooded in with supporters taking part in challenges, holding events and much more to fundraise for the charity.

The Newquay-based charity has now topped its target, with a further two months of the appeal still to go.

"The New Heli Appeal has been a tremendous journey for everyone who cherishes Cornwall Air Ambulance and we have been overwhelmed by the support received from the public. A combination of hard work, dedication and incredible team work has meant we have surpassed our target before the end of the fundraising appeal. 

"We all feel truly humbled by the fantastic efforts of supporters, whether they live in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly or further afield. Every single person, business, community group and trust fund who has contributed receives our heartfelt thanks. 

"We know lots of people are still raising money for the appeal and our message to them is to please keep going. All the money raised will go towards the cost of bringing the new helicopter home to Cornwall and making sure the crew are fully trained ready for the first mission in April. It is very exciting to think of what the final total will be."

Barbara Sharples, Trustee and Appeal Board Chair

About the new helicopter:

The AW169 is faster, more powerful and has double the fuel range of our current aircraft, which crucially means the crew will be available to fly more missions and save more lives.

It will also improve the quality of care patients receive, giving them an even better chance of survival. 

The extra space, technologically advanced features and ability to carry more medical equipment will enable an emergency department to be created in the back of the helicopter. 

The team will in effect be taking the hospital to the patient, whether they are on a cliff top, roadside, living room or beach.

It has been designed in collaboration with Cornwall Air Ambulance, members of the community and marketing agency Wolf Rock, the helicopter will return to its original red colour with yellow chevrons. 

It incorporates the charity's proud Cornish identity, with the St Piran's flag and Cornish language prominent features on the livery.

The helicopter will cost £7.5million, and for the first time in the charity's 32-year history, will be owned by the charity and not leased. 

heli appeal - cornwall air ambulance

"We are delighted to say that we will be the proud owners of a helicopter- that is a first for this charity. 

"In just a few weeks' time the helicopter will be flying around right here in Cornwall. It is a fantastic aircraft, full of new technology, but it is what that helicopter will allow our clinical team to do that really counts- and that is saving more lives in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Thank you to everyone who is enabling our crew to have the equipment they need to truly exploit their lifesaving skills.  

"When that helicopter flies on its first lifesaving mission, everyone can feel extremely proud that they played a part in making it happen."

Paula Martin, Chief Executive of Cornwall Air Ambulance

The AW169 helicopter is currently in Gloucestershire, where a new medical interior is being fitted. 

It is scheduled to arrive in Cornwall at the end of February, when the pilots, critical care paramedics and doctors will commence training on the new aircraft.

From March, supporters will have the opportunity to see the new air ambulance for the first time, as the crew fly across Cornwall on training flights. 

It is expected to be operational on April 1st, the charity's 33rd birthday. 

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