Great North Air Ambulance Flying High with Top Honours

Author - Jasmin Brown

Date published:

The Chamber business of the year is Eaglescliffe-based Great North Air Ambulance (GNAA) which also won the North East Champion of the Year category.

This charity is an emergency service which provides 24-hour care in the North East and in the last year alone responded to1250 call-outs despite the challenges of operating during the pandemic.

People who were helped by the team’s care included those who were seriously ill or injured through incidents such as road tra􀃞c collisions (the single biggest cause for its involvement) and medical emergencies such as stroke and cardiac issues, assaults such as stabbings and shootings or leisure pursuits which go wrong.

Chloe Holmes from North East Times which sponsored the North East Champion of the Year said: “The charity’s unwavering commitment to developing their resources, and the resilience they have shown during the pandemic is both truly inspiring and incredibly worthy of recognition. It was a hugely humbling (and emotional!) experience talking to the team, and learning more about the contribution they make to the North East, the people and families that access their services. The first-person account of how the actions of the team provide life-saving response is remarkable.”

Darush Dodds, Esh Group, sponsored the Business of the Year award, he agreed; “Great North Air Ambulance’s service is a huge testament to our region’s determination to tackle problems head on and achieve goals, no matter how insurmountable they may seem at the time. Covid must have seemed a huge challenge yet this charity has still blazed a trail.  Congratulations to every single member of their team and their many supporters.”

Despite a decline in funds from fundraising due to Covid the charity still made huge progress including trialling a jet suit to help treat patients in remote locations in Cumbria, which attracted the attention of over 240 news outlets worldwide. In collaboration with Gravity Industries this world 􀃕rst project is being coordinated from GNAA’s North East base.

The charity also raises awareness of its work to help raise funds and has been involved in the TV series Emergency Helicopter Medics which was aired on More4, with repeats on Channel 4. This show featured the work of the charity’s critical care team and reached a national audience, averaging approximately 400,000 viewers per live episode.

As many of its essential fundraising events had to be cancelled due to Covid it organised Race to the Base, challenging people to run, walk or cycle a distance to raise funds. The result was one of its most successful single in-house events and attracted 656 participants and raised £113,739.

The GNAA is also at the forefront of medical innovation and training, where its practices are shared and used by medical teams around the globe to save lives.

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