Those who regularly visit our pub will know that we like to support the local community where we can and one way of doing this is by fundraising for a charity that has an impact to the local area and people.
We are proud supporters of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA); a local charity and service that brings an advanced Critical Care Team to the sick and injured in our region in their hour of need. From car accidents and cardiac arrests to sports injuries and stabbings, the Air Ambulance can transport a team of highly skilled paramedics and doctors to the scene of an incident within minutes.
We are delighted to have reached our first fundraising goal of £10,000 for the HIOWAA. This has been through a number of fundraising initiatives, including our 3 Peaks Challenge in July 2017, which saw a team of Red Mist staff climb the three highest peaks in the UK to raise money for the cause. We have also hit this target through proceeds from our monthly business networking events held at the pub, by donating 20p of every pint of Red Mist ale sold, and through the generosity of our customers, who kindly donate their spare change in the donation boxes on our bar.
“We’re thrilled to have reached our goal of £10,000 for this incredible cause and thank all of our customers who have helped us reach this. The service is well recognised in our local community and we want to continue helping in any way we can.” said Alex, Pub Manager.
Many of our customers, and even staff, have been affected by this life-saving service at some point, whether they’ve made a call-out in an emergency, known of someone who has received treatment, or even been the patient inside the helicopter. Our county really does owe many people’s lives to this incredible service and team, without which, many circumstances would have been far more tragic.
However, with a service of highly skilled medics and a helicopter that has to take off approximately three times a day, this does come at a cost… Over £9,000 a day in fact, which is why we are passionate about raising as much as we can for this cause and want to thank you all for your help so far.
The Royal Exchange team with Ray Southam from HIOWAA
We were recently invited to visit the Air Ambulance base, to meet their Corporate and Community Fundraiser, Ray, who showed us around their site and spoke about the benefits felt by the local community from the monies we have raised.
This was a particularly special visit for our Red Mist Director, Julian Clarke, who recently experienced first hand the huge importance for immediate medical help when the Air Ambulance was called out to assist and transport a family member following a serious horse riding accident.
“Personally this became more poignant for me this year when a family member received the full benefit of the service HIOWAA provide, being airlifted to Southampton University Hospital following a bad horse riding accident in Passfield. When you witness first-hand what a difference they make in those situations you completely understand why the service they provide is so important and how grateful you are that they are there.” commented Julian.
“I’m delighted that we have achieved our 3-year fundraising goal in under 2 years, with fantastic support from all our customers and supporters; our fundraising efforts will continue and we hope to be a regular contributor to this important charity, which really can make the difference between life and death. “
About the HIOWAA
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance began operating in July 2007 and are based at Thruxton Aerodrome, near Andover, with a number of military-trained helicopter pilots.
The Air Ambulance service is available both day and night, 365 days of the year, with a team of highly trained paramedics and doctors on board, ready to perform the same level of treatment and care that a patient would receive in a hospital emergency department.
The base at Thruxton includes a simulator suite, which enables their paramedics and doctors to be consistent with their training and also allows them to visit tough scenarios, to practice. For example, the room has projectors that can project a scene on all 4 walls of the room, so the medics not only have to be focused on their patient but also on the surroundings around them. During our visit, this was demonstrated to us, where the room suddenly turned into a crowded, loud nightclub where a patient was in the middle of the floor and the medics would have to work through the noise and crowds.
Not only is staff training a priority at HIOWAA, but they also have a strong focus on their wellbeing programme. Being medics that attend the counties most traumatic incidents, the staff often witness scenes that can be incredibly challenging both physically and mentally. On-site, there’s a gym for the medics to keep up their fitness and health, a number of table tennis and snooker tables to wind down during their breaks and there’s also a dedicated area that no other staff members are authorised to enter, that acts as a peaceful space for the medics to go to after a particularly tough job to reflect and take time out for themselves.
How you can help
HIOWAA are solely funded through the people and community in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. They receive no government funding, so the running of the organisation and ambulance depends entirely on fundraising and the volunteers are the backbone of the operation.
From organising events and giving talks, to collecting donation pots, the volunteers are a vital part of the charity and are often people who have seen first-hand the incredible work the service does, either through being a patient in the Air Ambulance or knowing someone who has been.
When speaking with Ray about their volunteers he commented:
“Many of our volunteers have said that they see us as a life insurance policy, so they donate or support the charity as they never know when they might need the ambulance themselves.”
We would like to thank Ray and the team at HIOWAA for giving us an insightful tour of their site and service.
Help us continue to support this fantastic life-saving organisation by donating any spare pennies into our collection boxes, attending our networking events or you can even get involved directly with the charity by volunteering your time.