The lifesaving charity Wales Air Ambulance is celebrating its tenth birthday on 1st March.
Having carried out 14,000 missions to date, the service has proved to be a vital operation, providing emergency air cover across the country and helping to save thousands of lives.
In celebration of this incredible landmark, Wales Air Ambulance is holding a birthday party at Margam Park on 1st March, 12 – 2pm. For a unique, never-before opportunity, all three aircraft will land at 12.30pm to be together for the first time.
The event is open to all members of the public, who can meet the crew and see the helicopters they help to support firsthand.
The charity would also like to extend a welcome to any former patients that have been airlifted and would like to meet the crew or share their stories.
Chief executive Angela Hughes said: “This really is an extraordinary achievement for Wales Air Ambulance. We were the last region in Europe to have air ambulance cover, but it has since grown to be one of the busiest operations.
“None of this could have been achieved without whole-hearted support from the public, so we welcome everyone to come and see the helicopters they have so passionately helped over the last ten years.”
The charity started its mission on St David’s Day 2001, growing from a one-helicopter service based in Swansea to operating three air ambulances that could reach any part of Wales within 20 minutes.
In 2008 Wales Air Ambulance launched the £1 Appeal, backed by several Welsh stars, to raise funds for an upgrade of aircraft in line with Civil Aviation Authority law.
“The £1 Appeal helped people understand they could be part of something big, something vital for Wales: they could help save lives with just £1,” said Angela. “And the public came through: we were able to upgrade two of our aircraft the following year, and in 2010 we’ve seen just how important these new aircraft are to helping save even more lives.”
Charity Chairman Bob Palmer added: “Wales Air Ambulance is a very unique charity in the UK, providing air cover for an entire country over hugely diverse terrain. It is also unique in the level of passion and patriotism felt by all those that support the cause, from communities to businesses. We look forward to another ten years of helping the People of Wales.”
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