THE WALES Air Ambulance is delighted to announce it has been chosen to benefit from donations made on the charity land train at Dan-yr-Ogof for the next five years.

The Charity Express has been a huge hit since its introduction in 2018. The train, which cost £200,000 transports visitors between the National Showcaves Centre and the shire horse centre and farm at the tourist site in the Brecon Beacons.

The on-land train has raised over £24,000 for JDRF – the type 1 diabetes research charity since its introduction.

Tickets to ride the Charity Express -which has space for up to 50 passengers – are free of charge, however passengers are given an opportunity to donate to the Wales Air Ambulance.

The land train is a great favourite of the young children at the caves and is an ideal way to transport people up to the caves ‘undercover’ from the lower car parks when it rains.

Dan-yr-Ogof have very skilful drivers who negotiate the parked cars and other obstacles, and they also anticipate how to get its vast length between cars coming towards them.

Reflecting on why the Wales Air Ambulance was chosen, Ashford Price, Chairman of the National Showcaves Centre for Wales at Dan-yr-Ogof said: “A young visitor was at the caves when she went into a diabetic coma. An air ambulance arrived at the scene and managed to stabilise her much to the relief of her parents.

“Owing to the speed that the air ambulance can get to a casualty it really is a lifesaver and in remote mountainous areas it can access regions other vehicles cannot reach.”

Dan-yr-Ogof also has collection boxes in the coffee shop and in one of the underground lakes in the caves they invite people to throw coins in the water for the lifesaving charity.

The Wales Air Ambulance celebrated its 21st anniversary on St David’s Day 2022. Now operational 24/7, the Charity needs to raise £8 million every year to keep the helicopters flying and its rapid response vehicles on the road.

Wales Air Ambulance offers advanced critical care and is often described as a ‘Flying ED’. The on-board consultants and critical care practitioners are highly skilled and carry some of the most pioneering medical equipment in the world. They can deliver blood transfusions, administer anaesthesia, and undertake emergency operations at the scene of the incident, before flying the patient directly to specialist care.

Katie Macro, Campaigns Manager for Wales Air Ambulance said: “We’re over the moon to have been chosen as the Charity to receive all donations made by passengers using the on-land charity train for the next five years. This is an incredible opportunity for the Wales Air Ambulance to receive much-needed funds to keep our four aircrafts in the air and our rapid response vehicles on the road.

“With the support from Dan-yr-Ogof we can continue to be there for the people of Wales, especially in rural areas, when they need us most. We really appreciate the support from Dan-yr-Ogof, they’ve raised an incredible £24,000 for JDRF, despite being closed during the pandemic. We hope visitors enjoy the on-land train and donate to our life saving charity.”

There are several ways that the public can continue to support the Wales Air Ambulance. These include online donations, signing up to the Charity’s Lifesaving Lottery or by coming up with their own innovative ways to fundraise at home. Further information can be found via www.walesairambulance.com

Alternatively, a £5 text-message donation can be made by texting the word HELI to 70711.