Midlands Air Ambulance Charity recently recognised a number of local heroes at its Recognition Awards and Charity Ball held at Edgbaston Stadium in Birmingham.
The event, which celebrates the service’s lifesaving aircrew, dedicated fundraisers, supporters, corporate partners, and volunteers, was hosted by TV’s Alison Hammond and Heart West Midlands’ Ed James and was sponsored by Halesowen-based IT company, EBC Group. As well as recognising individuals and organisations that have made a significant difference to the charity over the past 12 months, the evening also raised an astonishing £74,000 for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s rapid response emergency service. This amount will help make 49 lifesaving missions possible – 23 via air ambulance and 26 in the organisation’s fleet of critical care cars.
Here is a round-up of the deserving winners:
Sky Champs Award – Awarded to a young supporter or school who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the charity. Sponsored by: M6toll
Winner: Upton-Upon-Severn Primary School
Sky Champs Award: (L-R) Ed James, Michael Whelan from M6toll (award sponsor), Michael Collie, Mrs Julie Wills, headteacher for Upton-Upon-Severn Primary School and Alison Hammond.
This school, local to the charity’s Strensham airbase in Worcestershire, has first-hand experience of its lifesaving work, with a previous pupil needing regular emergency treatment. This is where their support started. During the pandemic they painted a rainbow on their school field so the crew could see it when they were flying over! Since then, the lifesaving emergency service has received paintings, stories and letters from the children. The school helped organise a county-wide engagement day with 31 schools from across Worcestershire taking part in a ‘Wear It Red Day’. More than 4,600 children wore red and helped raise more than £6,000, funding 12 lifesaving missions.
Charity Volunteer Award – Awarded to an everyday hero, a volunteer who has demonstrated exceptional loyalty and dedication to the charity. Sponsored by: Airbus
Winner: Tim Rowlands
Charity Volunteer Award: (L-R) Ed James, Lenny Brown from Airbus (award sponsor), Tim Rowlands, Paul Chuckle and Alison Hammond.
Tim has been a volunteer with Midlands Air Ambulance Charity for just over a decade and is a huge advocate for the charity in his local community. He has utilised his role on the Penkridge Round Table in Staffordshire to raise awareness of the lifesaving work it does across the region. Although he cannot drive, he still attends any events he can support and always does an amazing job of compering.
Charity Shop Volunteer Award – Awarded to an everyday hero, a volunteer who has demonstrated exceptional loyalty and dedication to the charity within the charity shops. Sponsored by: Hampton Lovett
Winner: Kristofer Tinsley
Charity Shop Volunteer Award:(L-R) Ed James, Dean Tremlett from Hampton Lovett (award sponsor), Kristofer Tinsley, Alison Hammond and Brendan Batson OBE.
Kris has been volunteering with the charity for 10 years and has been a regular stalwart of the volunteers at its Wellington Charity Shop in Telford, Shropshire. He has always been reliable and dependable, and always makes new volunteers feel welcome. There have been instances where Kris has volunteered despite being on annual leave to help cover the tills when the shop was short-staffed.
Crew Award – Awarded to a member of the clinical or operational team who has been recognised by their colleagues for going above and beyond the call of duty to support patient care. Sponsored by: Babcock Mission Critical Services
Winners: Patient Liaison Leads and Critical Care Paramedics – Kerry Hemus & Rob Davies
Crew Award:(L-R) Ed James, Mike Deakin from Babcock Mission Critical Services (award sponsor), Charlie Fogarty MBE, Kerry Hemus, patient liaison lead and critical care paramedic for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and Alison Hammond.
Kerry and Rob have embraced their shared role of patient liaison leads with passion, compassion, empathy and a clear vision of supporting patients, their families and loved ones, and using the information they gather to help continuously improve Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s lifesaving service for future patients. The two worked together to present how the original role for a patient liaison lead could be enhanced by having two of them sharing the role. This means that both are still critical care paramedics and work operational shifts too.
Corporate Partnership Award – Awarded to an organisation and its employees who have demonstrated hard work, initiative and commitment through their CSR policy to raise awareness of and vital donations for the charity. Sponsored by: Wall James Chappell
Winner: Tipton & Coseley Building Society
Corporate Partnership Award:(L-R) Ed James, James Rousell from Wall James Chappell (award sponsor), Tipton & Coseley Building Society winners, Marlon Harewood and Alison Hammond.
Tipton & Coseley started supporting Midlands Air Ambulance Charity in 2018 as they chose the lifesaving service as its Charity of the Year. Since then, it has continued to support Midlands Air Ambulance Charity by donating £50,000 in that time.
Star Award – Awarded to a group, organisation or individual that has gone above and beyond to support the charity. Sponsored by: Unity4
Winner: Jamie Fear
Star Award:(L-R) Ed James, Steve Morris from Unity4 (award sponsor), Josh Weaver, Jamie Fear, Steve Bull MBE and Alison Hammond.
Jamie Fear from Dudley in the West Midlands sadly lost his best friend, Thomas, in a road traffic collision in November 2021. Thomas’s younger brother, Josh was a passenger and sustained horrific injuries to his brain, neck and back, no one knew if Josh would survive. After weeks in a coma, Josh recovered. Jamie wanted to thank Midlands Air Ambulance Charity for the treatment provided on scene and after finding out more about us he and Josh signed up, with a group of 15 others to do the Wolf Run. So far, he has raised more than £6,000.
Special Incident Award – Awarded to a specific clinical/operational team who demonstrated exceptional skills and teamwork on a particularly challenging mission. Sponsored by: Gama Aviation
Winner: Chris Brooke, Critical Care Paramedic and Dr Matt Rowley, Pre-hospital Emergency Medicine Doctor
Special Incident Award:(L-R) Ed James, Marwan Khalek from Gama Aviation (award sponsor), Dr Mark Nash, medical director for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity (accepting on behalf of the crew who were on shift), Annette Badland and Alison Hammond.
Earlier this year, a seven-year-old boy was visiting a trampoline park in Telford, Shropshire enjoying a day out with his family. Sadly, he was crushed by a crash mat and sustained injuries and suffered a cardiac arrest. Dr Matt Rowley and critical care paramedic Chris Brooke responded to the incident on Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s Cosford helicopter. After assessing his condition and treating him on scene, the crew administered drugs to sedate the patient and intubated him. He was then airlifted to Royal Stoke University Hospital for further treatment. He was then transferred from Stoke to Birmingham Children’s Hospital. It was from here that he and his family made a public thank you to all those who helped save his life that day.
Community Fundraiser Award – Awarded to an individual, group or society that has demonstrated significant support and commitment to raising lifesaving funds. Sponsored by: Fusion Communications
Winner: Mosaic Boutique
Community Fundraiser Award: (L-R) Ed James, Tyne Hipkins, community engagement executive for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity (accepting on behalf of the winners who were not able to attend), Aaron Spry from Fusion Communications (award sponsor), Annette Badland and Alison Hammond.
Steven and Jason are the owners of Mosaic Boutique in Leek, Staffordshire. In 2022 they held a fashion show to support Midlands Air Ambulance Charity along with another charity and raised almost £1,500. In April they raised a further £3,500 and are already planning their next fundraising fashion show for October.
Inspiration Award – Celebrating an extraordinary individual or group connected to the charity who is a source of inspiration and pride. Sponsored by: EBC Group
Winner: Nigel and Christine Davis
Inspiration Award:(L-R) Ed James, Hanna Sebright, chief executive, Keith Marriott, chair (both for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity), Nigel and Christine Davis, Alison Hammond, and Richard Lane from headline sponsor, EBC Group.
Nigel suffered an out of hospital cardiac arrest at his home in Tipton in the West Midlands surrounded by his wife and family, a shocking incident to witness. He was resuscitated by one of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s critical care paramedics, Richard Apps, working alongside ambulance service paramedics. While his family were told to expect the worst as he was in cardiac arrest for 40 minutes, he survived the ordeal. His fight to survive is inspirational, but his zest for life is of on-going inspiration to everyone at Midlands Air Ambulance Charity.
Nigel and his wife, Christine, felt they had been given a second chance of life together and bought a caravan where they tend to spend their days. They were also approached by the charity to help raise awareness of the importance of bystander CPR, which undoubtedly helped to save his life before the crew arrived on scene. To assist with this, they supported a media campaign and took part in a case study film, stepping outside their comfort zone to help the charity they are passionate to support. Nigel and Christine have without doubt become an inspiration to the team at the lifesaving service.
Emma Gray, chief operating officer for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, said: “As a pre-hospital emergency service founded within our local communities, we are extremely proud of all of our deserving winners from this year’s Awards and Charity Ball who have helped to raise awareness of our charitable status and funds to ensure we can operate into the future.
“We appreciate the support we receive from all our fundraisers, volunteers, donors and corporate partners across the counties we serve and would like to congratulate all our winners on the night.”
Learn more about Midlands Air Ambulance Charity by visiting the website and following the organisation on social media.