Duchess of Cornwall cuts turf on new volunteer annex
The Duchess of Cornwall visited Cornwall Air Ambulance HQ on Wednesday 22nd July to cut the turf for a new development at the charity Head Office. The Duchess has been patron of the life-saving charity for five years.
She joined a celebration of volunteers at the charity – Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust now has around 250 volunteers across its fundraising operations, including charity shops, in the community and at headquarters. The growth in the number of people choosing to volunteer for the charity has led to the charity needing to extend its base!
Thanks to £240,000 of Libor funding from the Government, construction of a new extension – the volunteer fundraising annex – will begin imminently, due for completion in January 2016. Chief executive Paula Martin said: “HRH The Duchess of Cornwall has visited us on a number of occasions over the years since becoming our patron, and this time we are very much celebrating our incredible force of committed people who give their time for free.
“As our operations increased, and now with two aircraft based here at Newquay, we have seen our fundraising income increase from £1.5 million in 2010 to more than £4 million today. Our volunteers – whom we call our Groundcrew – are absolutely crucial in keeping our profile high, manning our network of charity shops, working out in the community and keeping things running smoothly at our base. They are making a real difference in helping us with sustainable fundraising for the future. We’re so pleased HRH The Duchess of Cornwall has been able to join us today and mark this next step in our development”.
It was the first time HRH has seen the two new MD902 helicopters , which were launched in January this year, as well as night-flying equipment that enables the helicopters to be operational during hours of darkness. She met with paramedics, who demonstrated the new LUCAS chest compression equipment, and showed HRH how patients are loaded into the aircraft. HRH also met volunteers from across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly as well as newly appointed trustees of the charity.
Amongst the guests to meet The Duchess were Dylan Kneebone, aged 8, and his parents Les and Linsey. The family from Redruth are firm supporters of Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust after Dylan was airlifted, after an incident where he was crushed by a horsebox.
If you are interested in becoming one of our GroundCrew, please contact Jackie Eastwood, Volunteer Co-ordinator on 01637 889926 ext 101 to chat about what roles are available.