SWANSEA Building Society has made a further £15,000 donation to Wales Air Ambulance, bringing the total it has gifted to the charity to £25,000.
The Wales Air Ambulance Charitable Trust was Swansea Building Society’s official charity during 2020 and 2021. Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, the Society raised a considerable amount for the valuable medical rescue service, helping it achieve its long-held ambition of becoming a 24/7 service across Wales.
The medical rescue charity welcomed a £5,000 donation from the Society in June 2020, as well as an additional £5,000 donation made in December 2020 – funds it said were much-needed due to the way in which lockdowns had limited its usual forms of fundraising.
To raise this money, the Society had collection tins at its branches in Swansea, Mumbles, Carmarthen and Cowbridge, the total of which the Society then match funded. This, along with a further individual donation from one of the Society’s customers of £250, brought the total raised for 2020 to just over £10,000.
In 2021 the Society again chose Wales Air Ambulance as its official staff charity. Whilst being observant of Covid restrictions, staff at the society’s four branches raffled food hampers and a Wales rugby shirt, held sponsored walks and donated the profit from an in-house tuck shop to raise money. The Society again match funded all donations made during the year, giving a grand total of £15,000 for 2021.
Wales Air Ambulance is funded entirely by the people of Wales. The charity does not receive direct funding from the government, and it does not qualify for National Lottery funding. Its helicopters are kept in the air solely through charitable donations, fundraising events and membership of its in‐house Lifesaving Lottery.
The Charity has four airbase operations in Caernarfon, Llanelli, Welshpool and Cardiff. As well as flying patients to hospital, it brings A&E directly to patients.
In addition to its daytime operations, since December 2020 the Charity also has a helicopter and crew on standby throughout the night capable of supporting emergencies across Wales.
To keep its helicopters flying, the charity needs to raise £8 million every year, making every donation vital in ensuring it can maintain the service and continue to save lives.
Sioned Jones, Swansea Building Society’s Area Manager West Wales, said: “Wales Air Ambulance has been the Society’s chosen charity for the past two years. It operates without Government or National Lottery funding, and it relies entirely upon donations from the people of Wales. We as staff are delighted to help this wonderful cause which is saving lives daily across Wales.”
Mark Stevens, Wales Air Ambulance Fundraising Manager, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Swansea Building Society’s staff and members for the incredible generosity they have shown our charity over the past two years.
“2020 and 2021 were significant years in the history of Wales Air Ambulance, and not just because of the pandemic. 2020 was the year that we achieved our aim of delivering a lifesaving service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So, we are very grateful to the donations from Swansea Building Society that helped to make this a reality. 2021 also saw our charity reach its 20th year in operation, and the donations allowed us to maintain the service despite the ongoing difficulties resulting from COVID.”