Outstanding Young Person Award
Almost 350 guests celebrated the best and brightest from the air ambulance community at the recent national Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence 2015.
Awards hosts, BBC News presenter Sophie Long, and ‘Helicopter Heroes’ presenter, Rav Wilding, handed out 11 awards to outstanding individuals and teams, who were recognised for their outstanding contribution to the air ambulance sector.
Midlands Air Ambulance Charity received two accolades on the night*, including the Outstanding Young Person Award, which was won by 13 year old Ben Lovegrove from Worcestershire.
Chair of the judging panel, Chloe Smith MP, said: “This was a wonderful evening recognising and celebrating the amazing work done by the nation’s air ambulance services. My fellow judges and I were humbled by the outstanding quality of the nominations we received, and I would like to congratulate every single one of the nominees. The winners of the awards can be assured that they truly are exceptional examples of what can be achieved through teamwork, expertise, courage and conviction.”
Ben was unfortunately involved in a horse riding accident in 2013, where he was thrown from a horse in a field, badly breaking his right leg and arm. Ben was left in incredible pain, and had to spend time in hospital and a number of weeks in a wheelchair, which was especially difficult as he also had to start at a new school. His bravery during his accident and determination to recover and learn to walk again was incredible, but it’s what he went on to do after his accident that made him particularly deserving of the Outstanding Young Person award.
Following the incident in the summer, the charity made contact with Ben and his family, inviting them to the Young Airlift Heroes Christmas Party, which they were keen to support after realising Midlands Air Ambulance was a charity. Ben helped to publicise the event and appeared on local radio and TV to highlight the work of the service.
As part of Ben’s on going rehabilitation, he set himself the goal of doing a mud run, to give him motivation to get back to full strength. As a way of thanking the flight paramedics who treated and airlifted him, he also wanted to use the mud run to fundraise for the charity. Throughout his treatment and training, Ben never complained. He undertook regular physiotherapy and practised on his own often, and he quickly became inspiration to his family and friends.
The level of support Ben received was fantastic and he raised over £2,000 for the charity, which he presented at the charity’s annual Strensham airbase Open Day to his hero Colin Apps. He completed the three mile course faster than anyone on the team and his family and friends were both astonished and proud of what his fantastic achievement.
Ben Lovegrove commented: “I was really excited to win the Outstanding Young Person award at the Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence. To receive the award in front of 350 was a bit scary, but I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved for the charity.”
Jason Levy, fundraising and marketing director for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, added: “Ben is a remarkable young man, and the award win is testament to his bravery and determination. Ben and his family have become part of the Midlands Air Ambulance family, and we feel extremely privileged to know them.”
For more information about the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, and how to support this vitally important emergency service, please call the team on 0800 8 40 20 40.
*Midlands Air Ambulance Charity also received the Special Incident award for the team’s bravery and commitment to patient care during the Alton Towers Smiler rollercoaster incident in June.