Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance service says thank you to everyone for keeping the rotors turning
A charity has reflected on how its supporters, volunteers, crew and staff have kept its life-saving service fully operational throughout a challenging year.
Before the world was hit with covid-19, the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance service was focused on becoming a 24/7 operation.
This would allow them to deliver life-saving care day and night.
However, when the pandemic hit, the plans were temporarily scaled back as crew members were called to support the NHS during the first national lockdown.
As a result of the pandemic, the charity has had to review every aspect of its operation while also experiencing one of the busiest summers on record, with 348 missions between July and September.
It also saw the closure of four of its shops in Ashby, Retford, Spalding and Sutton.
Community fundraising events were also cancelled and the charity welcomed support from generous members of the public who took on huge virtual challenges, from completing the virtual London Marathon to hosting an online auction.
David Martin, director of fundraising, said: “2020 was a year like no other, and it’s certainly been one that we’ll be happy to say goodbye to.
“The one thing that will remain with us is the kindness and generosity that our supporters have shown throughout.
“We have been blown away by the support we have received during this time, when we have needed it more than ever.
A huge thank you to everyone who spent hours fundraising, volunteering and spreading awareness of our service — your donations help us to save lives.”
As the charity looks ahead to 2021, crew and staff will be moving to new headquarters off the A15, Sleaford Road, Lincoln.
The project has largely been made possible through a one-off capital grant from government, funding which is only permitted to be spent on the new building.
Chief executive Karen Jobling said: “The development of a new headquarters has been a long-term ambition of the charity.
“Our new home will bring opportunities for our supporters, partner organisations and others to visit; training facilities to enhance the clinical care we can deliver; and a calming space for former patients to be reunited with the crew.
“But most of all, it will deliver a future-proof home for the vital service the air ambulance delivers to the people of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.
“While this year has been far more difficult than any of us could have imagined, we are now focusing on what the future holds.
“One thing we do know is that we have received an incredible amount of support over the last year.
“A sincere and heartfelt thank you goes to everyone who has supported us — you have kept the helicopter flying, the Critical Care Cars on the roads and our pilots and clinicians in crucial personal protective equipment throughout the pandemic.
“No matter what 2021 brings, we are committed to delivering life-saving care when people need us the most..”