[Please also see Editor’s note at the foot of this post]
The Air Ambulance Service charity, providing vital support to the NHS frontline, is asking the public to back an urgent appeal to safely reopen its stores which provide the much-needed income to operate its clinical services.
Your Local Air Ambulance is currently in the process of transforming a network of 57 shops and boutiques to ensure the safety of customers and staff as soon as the charity is given the greenlight to open.
In order to ensure the shops are able to operate safely, the charity is appealing to businesses and supporters within the community to help raise nearly £22,000 required to transform its stores.
The charity is facing a bill of nearly £13,000 for hygiene screens around till points, over £7,000 for hand sanitizer stations and fluids as well over £1,000 for social distancing signage and measures.
The bill to reopen the charity shops is in addition to the multi-million-pound losses faced by the charity due to the pandemic. Despite the impact the charity continues to provide vital frontline, critical care services and is attending missions 24/7 throughout this difficult period.
“The pandemic has had a significant impact on so many including our own lifesaving charity,” explained charity Deputy CEO Emma Peake. “Due to the closure of our shops, the suspension of our reuse kerbside collections and the postponement of our door-to-door lottery, the charity is facing a projected net loss of at least £2.18million for the months April to June.”
These losses are further impacted by the cancellation of fundraising events and supporter-lead initiatives, as these have not been possible during the lockdown period.
“Our dedicated crews are continuing their potentially lifesaving work through this difficult time and this vital support to the NHS relies solely on donations as the charity receives no government funding for its missions,” said Emma.
“We want to reopen our shops as soon as we are able but our priority is to ensure the safety of our customers and staff. The charity desperately needs the income these stores provide and we desperately need the public’s help, more than ever before, to enable us to continue to support the NHS.”
Editor note. The Air Ambulance Service submits its annual accounts for public access just like any other UK company/charity. In the accounts for the year to 31 December 2018, the balance sheet at that date reports £11.778 Million in the bank. It is reasonable to expect the figure at 31 December 2019 to be higher with fundraising through 2019.
The Air Ambulance Service operates two AW109s from Coventry and East Midlands Airports, including the AW109SP GrandNew pictured below. It also has two AW169s under their Children’s Air Ambulance branding from East Midlands and London Oxford Airport.
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