London’s Air Ambulance Charity has today launched its Christmas appeal, ‘London’s Christmas Mission’. The appeal comes as the charity is estimating that it will lose £5 million in income over the next two to three years due to Covid-19 restrictions, the equivalent of 2,440 missions and every one of those could save a life.
Last year alone London’s Air Ambulance attended 1,730 missions across the capital, and the service has continued to provide emergency medical care throughout the pandemic this year despite having to bring many of its fundraising activities to a halt during lockdowns.
The local air ambulance charity is calling on Londoners to ‘join London’s Christmas Mission’ by making a donation if they are able to, fundraising virtually, or sending a message of support to the crew.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, London’s Air Ambulance has supported the NHS and remained operational 24/7 for every one of the 10 million people who live, work and travel in London every day. It costs around £11 million each year to deliver the service; which is primarily funded by public donations, providing London with an advanced trauma team 365 days a year.
Jonathan Jenkins, Chief Executive of London’s Air Ambulance Charity, said: “This Christmas will be unlike any other. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected all of us deeply. Even though our crew carried on their life-saving work every day during lockdown, we have been affected in a different way. Our charity’s income has taken a big hit due to the fundraising activities we’ve had to cancel to keep everyone safe.
“If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that when we pull together as a community to look after each other, we’re all stronger.
“By joining London’s Christmas Mission you can help us raise the funds needed to keep London’s Air Ambulance flying and ensure we can be there whenever London calls.”
Londoners are also invited to send a special message to the crew at Christmas, to thank them or wish them well, in an online ‘Christmas bauble’ which will then be shared with the crew at the helipad and online.
Since March the charity has had to cancel or postpone a number of fundraising events, including its annual Abseil event in September which last year raised £132,000 In addition, the London Marathon this year had been expected to raise approximately £82,000 for the charity but was cancelled.
Fundraisers and volunteers have had to stop all face-to-face fundraising activities and pot collections, and the gift shop at The Royal London Hospital has been closed. Supporters have been coming up with innovative ways to raise money remotely including virtual bucket collections and pub quizzes. In place of the Marathon in April fundraisers took part in the 2.6 challenge, which saw supporters take on a range of physical activities including the #helicopterchallenge and raising over £21,000 for the life-saving charity.
The charity needs the support of Londoners now more than ever to make sure it can reach the capital’s most critically injured patients in need of life-saving care.
You can donate to London’s Christmas Mission here:London’s Christmas Mission