Share of £192,000 to go to Derbyshire Air Ambulance

More than £190,000 has been awarded to air ambulances charities to help fund their emergency work.

Grants have been awarded to all 19 services which cover England and Wales by The Freemasons' Grand Charity, a long-term supporter of air ambulances.

It includes a grant of £20,000 for Midlands Air Ambulance, £6,000 for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and £16,000 for Wales Air Ambulance.

Laura Chapman, chief executive of The Freemasons' Grand Charity, said: "A great many lives would be lost without the swift life-saving help provided by the air ambulance doctors and paramedics. This is why Freemasons are passionate about supporting the air ambulance services in England and Wales.

"Air ambulance charities are reliant on voluntary donations to operate, and we hope that our contributions will help them to continue saving lives in the future."

Other recipients include Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance, awarded £12,000 and Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC), based in Bristol, which secured £6,000.

GWAAC fundraising manager Emma Carter said: "We are delighted with the support we have received from the Freemasons, and want to thank them for this.

"GWAAC receives no funding from the Government or the National Lottery, which means we rely entirely on the generosity of the people we serve to continue operating.

"We need to raise £2m each year to stay operational, and it is only through the support of people like the Freemasons that we can continue."

Elsewhere, East Anglian Air Ambulance received £16,000, North West Air Ambulance secured £12,000 and Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance received £16,000.

The amounts differ depending on how many Provincial Grand Lodges opted to support a particular cause.

Since 2007, the Freemasons have donated more than £1.5 million in support of air ambulances, including this year's grant of £192,000 from The Freemasons' Grand Charity.

Grants of £8,000 went to Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance, Essex and Hertfordshire Air Ambulance, London's Air Ambulance, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance Charitable Trust and Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA).

Abby McClymont, marketing and communications manager at YAA, said: "To keep both of our helicopters in the air we need to raise £9,990 every day. We'd like to say a huge thanks to The Freemasons' Grand Charity for their continued support."

Grants of £4,000 were awarded to Cornwall Air Ambulance, Devon Air Ambulance, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance and Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

Of the overall £192,000 donation, £12,000 has yet to be allocated.

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