Princess Anne attends Magpas Air Ambulance fundraising appeal launch
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal has attended the launch of the Magpas Air Ambulance’s Future 50 Appeal to fund a new airbase.
The charity, which this year celebrates 50 years of saving lives, has been at its current airbase since 2005.
But in 2016, the charity was served notice to vacate after the land was sold for development.
It has secured planning permission for a new base at Alconbury Weald and raised more than half of the £7million needed to fund the move.
The Future 50 Appeal aims to raise the remaining £3m to help complete the build, which is due to be operational by March 2023.
The launch was held at the Jockey Club Rooms in Newmarket on Monday (September 20) and attended by Princess Anne, who is the charity’s Royal Patron.
Magpas Air Ambulance newly-appointed chairman John Bridge OBE, who is leading the appeal, said:
“Magpas Air Ambulance provides vital care for our community that we have been fortunate to have benefitted from for the past 50 years. I am immensely proud to be the chairman of Magpas Air Ambulance at such an important time for the charity, as well as continuing to lead the appeal to build a new bespoke airbase creating the foundation for the organisation’s next 50 years.”
The move will also provide Magpas with the opportunity to not only build a bespoke new airbase fit for 24/7 operations, but also relocate to a site located closer to the region’s major trunk roads with the aim of reducing dispatch times by a crucial 15 minutes.
The new airbase will have a dedicated training centre to train the next generation of the region’s pre-hospital emergency doctors and paramedics, be equipped for 24/7 operations with well-being and rest facilities for crew and clinicians, as well as community and patient facilities on site.
The new base will be more efficient by co-locating the charity’s operations and support staff, reducing charity overheads and improving environmental impact.
Magpas Air Ambulance hopes the launch will be the first of several events over the next 12 months to attract the remaining funding needed to complete the project.
Chief executive Daryl Brown MBE added: “We are extremely fortunate to receive fantastic support from the communities in which we work. As a charity, our service relies on donations from our supporters and the public to continue to operate and save lives 24/7. For this reason we will be looking for alternative and new sources of funding for the Future 50 Appeal”
He continued: “The launch event on Monday was a fantastic occasion and Magpas Air Ambulance were honoured that our Royal Patron could hear more about our plans for the new airbase in person. “We look forward to welcoming all our supporters to the new base in what we hope will be the not so distant future.”
Magpas Air Ambulance is a charity and relies on donations to continue saving lives. Visit Magpas Air Ambulance to find out how to donate.