A group of dedicated community and corporate supporters, volunteers and aircrew from across Gloucestershire and the Midlands have been officially recognised at Midlands Air Ambulance Charity's Recognition Awards and Charity Ball 2022.
Now in its 10th year, the prestigious Recognition Awards and Charity Ball was hosted by ITN's Nina Hossain and one of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity's official ambassadors and BBC Radio 2 presenter, Richie Anderson.
The event celebrated the incredible lifesaving work of the charity's aircrew, the generous support of its volunteers, fundraisers, and corporate partners who have gone above and beyond for the charity since its last awards, in 2019. This year’s event also recognised those who have continually supported the charity during and following the Covid-19 pandemic. The evening also reflected the inspirational stories of some of the pre-hospital service’s former patients. Following the award presentation and a live auction, the evening raised £88,200 for the charity.
This year's winners that were recognised from across Gloucestershire and the Midlands include:
Sky Champs Award (Sponsored by M6toll) – Henry Carpenter
[Image caption: (L-R) Richie Anderson, Michael Whelan from M6toll, Henry Carpenter, Karen Baker, critical care paramedic for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and Nina Hossain]
In the face of adversity, following a traumatic incident where a tractor ran over him, leaving him with a badly broken hip and pelvis, Henry Carpenter, from Clifton-on-Teme, took part in Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s 2021 Airbase Challenge. He walked 54 miles (on crutches) in just 30 days, raising in excess of £11,000 funding ten lifesaving missions.
Charity Volunteer Award (Sponsored by Wall James Chappell) - Sally McMahon
[Image caption: (L-R) Richie Anderson, Annette Badland, Sally McMahon, James Rousell from Wall James Chappell and Nina Hossain]
Sally from Barton-under-Needwood near Burton-on-Trent has volunteered for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity for four years. Before retiring, she ran her own business meaning she’s highly skilled at giving talks and attending cheque presentations. Sally was recognised as she always puts herself forward to support at fundraising events and is committed to promoting the charity to her network of business contacts.
Charity Shop Volunteer Award (Sponsored by Wall James Chappell) - Alison Potts
Alison from Ash Bank, Stoke-on-Trent is a longstanding charity volunteer who has attended cheque presentations, events and emptied collection tins across Staffordshire. She volunteers twice a week in Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s Newcastle-under-Lyme shop. A few years ago, Alison’s husband was attended by Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, but he sadly passed away and she has supported us ever since.
Corporate Fundraiser of the Year Award (Sponsored by Fusion Communications) – Barratt Homes West Midlands
[Image caption: (L-R) Richie Anderson, Barratt Homes West Midlands team members, Oliver Rowe from Fusion Communications, Amanda Amass, Jayne Farr, BHWM team member, Brendon Batson OBE and Nina Hossain]
Barratt Homes West Midlands, based in Halesowen, run an amazing fundraising campaign throughout 2021 in memory of its late, former managing director, Adrian Farr. Despite continuing pandemic restrictions when fundraising opportunities were scarce, its team of committed employees, led by Amanda Amass, raised in excess of £50,000. This amazing contribution led to the addition of a loving tribute to Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s southern critical care car.
Community Fundraiser of the Year Awards (Sponsored by Fusion Communications)
[Image caption: (L-R) Richie Anderson, Oliver Rowe from Fusion Communications, Craig Guy, Stephanie Shaw, Chris Devney, Nina Hossain and Brendon Batson OBE]
Gloucestershire – Stephanie Shaw
Stephanie Shaw and her supportive group of biking friends have shown considerable commitment to Midlands Air Ambulance Charity since 2002. In her 20th year of organising community fundraising events called Gloucester Biker Nites, Steph has now raised in excess of £100,000 funding 61 missions.
Herefordshire – Michelle Ward
Throughout Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s 30th anniversary year, Michelle Ward, from Weobley, also celebrated her 60th birthday. She decided to mark the joint special occasions by supporting the pre-hospital service. During her birthday year she completed the charity’s Airbase Challenge, a virtual walk covering the distance between Land’s End and John O’Groats and took up wild swimming.
Shropshire – Craig Guy
Craig Guy, from Wolverhampton, lost his brother, Joe, following a horrific cycling accident. Ever since, Craig has organised annual fundraisers in Shropshire, even during the pandemic. Craig and the Guy family have raised in excess of £25,000 in just under five years. Their support of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity now means more than 300 cyclists take part in their events, each year.
Staffordshire – Residents of Lansdowne Road
The amazing residents of Lansdowne Road in Branston, Staffordshire, adorn their houses, vehicles and front gardens with vibrant Christmas decorations every year. Almost all 33 homes get involved with some residents even donning festive fancy-dress to raise money for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity. Last year, the street raised in excess of £13,000 helping to fund eight lifesaving missions.
West Midlands – Steve Benton
Since 2018, Steve Benton, from Solihull, has organised golf days in aid of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity. He does this whilst also running a successful logistics firm. He personally makes sure that each year’s event is a success by fully booking up the day with teams, organising raffle prizes and ensuring that a great day is had by all. Overall, Steve, who was previously airlifted by Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, has raised in excess of £20,000 funding 14 lifesaving missions.
Worcestershire – Chris Devney
Chris Devney, from Worcester, has gone above and beyond in his efforts to raise funds and awareness for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity. His determination to keep putting one foot in front of the other has resulted in three gruelling walking challenges. Chris has now clocked up more than 500 miles across three walks.
Inspiration Award (Sponsored by Hampton Lovett) – Sophie Price
In March 2018, Sophie Price, from Bewdley, was involved in an RTC and suffered life-changing injuries. Despite having to recover from head trauma, which caused physical and cognitive injuries, Sophie attended a fundraiser for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity at Kidderminster College just a few short months after her incident. Since then, she has undertaken several fundraising and awareness activities including walking 27 miles in the Airbase Challenge, taking part in the Mission Critical campaign and hosting her own successful fundraising event. She does all of this with a smile and a great sense of humour.
Social Responsibility Award (Sponsored by EBC Group) – M6toll
[Image caption: (L-R) M6toll team member, Richie Anderson, Joanne Malin, M6toll team members, Tom Reece from EBC Group and Nina Hossain]
M6toll has been a longstanding corporate supporter of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity for almost two decades. Throughout the pandemic, M6toll ensured Midlands Air Ambulance Charity received continuous support with staff members taking on the 2021 Airbase Challenge. M6toll is also dedicated to helping youngsters in the local community to develop, through its sponsorship of partner initiatives including the MAAC Moguls project and the Sky Champs training and education programme.
Community Outstanding Contribution Award (Sponsored by Unity4) – Sri Dasmesh Sikh Temple
[Image caption: (L-R) Richie Anderson, Sally Bee, Sri Dasmesh Sikh Temple committee members, Steve Morris from Unity4 and Nina Hossain]
In 2021 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Sri Dasmesh Sikh Temple based in Lozells, Birmingham, donated funds to several local charities in need. After Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s helicopter landed nearby and committee member, Rajinder Beghal learnt that the pre-hospital service receives no Government funding for its daily missions, the Temple’s committee then decided to raise more funds for charity. In excess of £59,000 was raised with £21,000 donated to MAAC – funding 17 lifesaving missions.
Crew Award (Sponsored by Phoenix Group) – Fay Pollock
[Image caption: (L-R) Richie Anderson, Sally Glarvey from Phoenix Group, Paul Chuckle, Fay Pollock, critical care paramedic for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and Nina Hossain]
Fay, from Coven, is one of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s dedicated critical care paramedics. She is the first to offer help with fundraising and marketing activities and two of her self-generated videos received the most engagement on Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s social media channels during the pandemic. Always one to go above and beyond the call of duty, Fay has recently supported projects with the Future Faces Chamber of Commerce and has also offered significant insight and development into the charity’s Learning from Excellence programme which is dedicated to improving patient care through learning from what has gone well at the incident scene.
Star Award (Sponsored by T H Baker) – Phoenix Group
[Image caption: (L-R) Richie Anderson, Phil Higgs from T H Baker, Sally Glarvey and Tamar Hughes from Phoenix Group, Jaki Graham and Nina Hossain]
Phoenix Group, based in Wythall, supported Midlands Air Ambulance Charity throughout a six-year partnership. The partnership was officially due to end, just as the Covid-19 pandemic took grip. Despite this, Phoenix Group continued to support the charity during a time when workplace fundraising was near impossible, with an additional donation of £50,000 funding 35 lifesaving missions.
Special Incident Award (Sponsored by Baylis & Harding) – Richard Apps and Dr Jon Bingham
[Image caption: (L-R) Richie Anderson, Roger Pemberton, chair of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, Steve Lloyd from Baylis & Harding, Richard Apps, critical care paramedic for MAAC, Nina Hossain and Hanna Sebright, chief executive for MAAC]
In February 2020, Yasmin Jukes, aged 17 at the time, was treated by Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s aircrew after fainting and falling backwards down the stairs at her home in Whitchurch, Shropshire.
Dr Jon Bingham and critical care paramedic, Richard Apps responded to the incident on Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s HMED03 helicopter from RAF Cosford. After assessing Yasmin, crew found she had sustained a traumatic brain injury, multiple bleeds and blood clots to the brain, a fractured skull, severe swelling to the brain and an open fracture on her finger. Her condition was very serious.
The crew provided advanced medicines to Yasmin, including putting her into an induced coma before travelling with her via land ambulance to Royal Stoke University Hospital to monitor and provide further enhanced care on the journey.
On arrival at hospital she was on a ventilator for a week and had an intercranial pressure bolt inserted and a craniectomy. She spent almost two weeks in intensive care and a further four weeks on a neurology ward.
The crew were acknowledged for the advanced critical care they delivered to Yasmin, which resulted in her being neurologically intact after a significant head injury. She has now enrolled onto a full-time degree in Biology at Loughborough University and passed her driving test within just 19 months of her incident.
Richie Anderson, TV and radio personality and Midlands Air Ambulance Charity ambassador, said: “Midlands Air Ambulance Charity is a cause close to my heart as a good friend was airlifted as a child. It is a service any one of us could rely on one day. I was honoured to co-host this year’s Recognition Awards and Charity Ball with Nina Hossain, and to have raised such an incredible amount on the night means that future lifesaving missions are possible thanks to everyone who attended.”
Hanna Sebright, chief executive for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, added: "We are fortunate to receive support from the communities we serve across the West Midlands. They're all deserving winners and it has been a pleasure to recognise them and show just how grateful we are for their dedication and determination in raising the profile of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity across the region.”
The Recognition Awards and Ball 2022, sponsored by Baylis and Harding, took place on Friday 17th June at the Edgbaston Stadium in Birmingham.
To find out more about Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, visit the website and to see updates from the charity ball, search and follow the charity on social media.