Phoenix Group, Europe’s largest life and pensions consolidator, is donating £50,000 to long-term charity partner Midlands Air Ambulance Charity as part of a UK-wide package of community support in response to COVID 19. Phoenix, which has offices in Wythall, began a six-year partnership with Midlands Air Ambulance Charity in 2014. It was due to end this Spring, but given the importance of the role that the service is providing in the face of COVID 19, Phoenix is now extending this to the end of 2020.
Midlands Air Ambulance Charity provides specialist support to NHS partners and trauma centres by providing advanced pre-hospital clinical care to over 3,500 people in critical need across the Midlands each year, responding to medical emergencies such as cardiac arrest, strokes and stabbings, whilst also attending accidents across the community, in homes and road traffic collisions.. While Midlands Air Ambulance Charity is not tasked directly to coronavirus patients, the severe pressure on the NHS due to COVID 19 meant the aircrew are offering further support to West Midlands Ambulance Service, in terms of clinical expertise and lifesaving equipment.
Phoenix’s donation will assist with operational funding of the service, which over the past six weeks has faced 258 call-outs. Solely reliant on community donations to fund its lifesaving missions, Midlands Air Ambulance Charity receives no Government funding and with all upcoming fundraising events cancelled and charity shops temporarily closed due to the pandemic, the charity is constantly looking at virtual fundraising activities to save lives.
Andy Briggs, CEO, Phoenix Group comments:
“It is vital we recognise the lifesaving efforts of the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and the unprecedented demands for their service at this time. They need more funds to survive and help others. As our long-term charity partner, it is our duty to donate and this small measure is part of our wider commitment to support communities across the UK battling the effects of COVID 19.
“At this time of economic and social uncertainty all charities are vulnerable and we urge financially able businesses to join us in providing air ambulance charities with a vital lifeline.”
Hanna Sebright, CEO, Midlands Air Ambulance Charity adds:
“The pandemic has led to the most challenging time in our charity’s 29-year history. While fundraising income is being sadly affected, demand for our rapid response pre-hospital service has not faltered. Phoenix Group’s extended commitment and further donation is a true reflection of the company’s understanding of how vitally-important our work is to the local communities of the Midlands. We are humbled and grateful for their on-going support, which will help fund a further 17 air ambulance and 34 critical care car missions, saving countless lives across the Midlands.”
Earlier this month the Phoenix Group announced it would be donating a total of £1 million to support the important work of charities, giving £500,000 of this to charitable organisations working in the communities where the Phoenix Group has regional premises. This includes three other local Air Ambulance Charities in the UK who are charity partners and ALONE in Ireland who supports older people. In recognition of the pandemic’s wide impact, charities providing services such as mental health care, homeless shelters and food banks, are also receiving funds in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Austria.
Phoenix has also donated £500,000 to Age UK’s Emergency Coronavirus Appeal, which will help older people who desperately need support during this unprecedented health emergency.