Her Royal Highness The Countess Of Wessex Attends Garden Party At Hagley Hall
Sponsored by the charity’s corporate partner, Pertemps, and hosted by radio and TV broadcaster Michael Collie, the Garden Party was both a celebration of the last 25 years of the life saving work of the air ambulance charity and a thank you to the people who have made a significant difference to the organisation.
The Countess of Wessex graciously accepted the invitation after learning of the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s vitally important work in the region, and upon learning that the organisation has undertaken over 46,000 missions since its conception as ‘Air5 in 1991.
Her Royal Highness has been a strong advocate of the lifesaving work of the air ambulance. During her speech at the event The Countess attested to the work of the charity revealing that she had herself been airlifted by an air ambulance and understood first hand the valuable work of the service.
The Charity’s ambassadors; Rio 2016 Paralympian’s Lee Pearson CBE and Ryan Cockbill, the actor John Challis and England Rugby World Cup winner Neil Back MBE were amongst 350 invited guests which also included volunteers, fundraisers, aircrew, charity staff and trustees, local dignitaries, MPs, and representatives from West Midlands Ambulance Service, Airbus Helicopters and Babcock Mission Critical Services.
Guests were treated to a quintessential English afternoon tea and given the chance to see the organisation’s three air ambulance helicopters which flew in especially to mark the occasion, view various pieces of charity memorabilia and watch a short film on the charity’s 25 year history.
Her Royal Highness met and chatted to fundraisers, frontline staff of the charity, volunteers, supporters and former patients. During her visit The Countess also met Doctors Ben Clark and David Cooper and paramedic Tom Waters, recipients of the Pride Of Britain Award Emergency Services Award. Her Royal Highness also met and chatted to former patients Vicky Balch, Joe Pugh and Leah Washington.
In recognition of the 25th anniversary, The Countess unveiled a commemorative sundial signifying the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s purpose; Saving Lives by Saving Time. With consent from Lord and Lady Cobham, the sundial will be positioned in the grounds of Hagley Hall, which is where the charity officially launched on 21st May 1991.
Brendan Connor, Chairman for the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, said: “Twenty-five years ago a revolutionary air ambulance charity was founded in the Midlands – only the second of its kind in the country. In the last 25 years without the support of the communities we serve, we simply could not have raised the ever increasing operational costs to fund our vitally important work, and despite the challenging economy, they have never waivered in their support for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity.
“We were delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness to our official anniversary. Our Garden Party was a celebration of all that effort and service, and in particular, a recognition of those who have made the last 25 years possible.”
MAAC Paramedic Stuart Evans with mum and MAAC volunteer Carol Evans and sister Louise Evans
To find out more about the charity and how you can support the organisation during the 25th anniversary celebrations, please contact Midlands Air Ambulance Charity on 0800 8 40 20 40.