SANTA won’t be the only one flying this Christmas. As the festive season approaches, Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) is asking residents and businesses in its local communities to get behind their local life-saving charity with some suitably sparkling fundraising.
One of the charity’s most popular fundraising initiatives at Christmas is EHAAT’s `Lights for Flights’, which sees homes across the county light up their properties in aid of their local air ambulance. And this year will not disappoint, with many householders already signed up to take part.
Emma Barker, Head of Income Generation at EHAAT, said:
“Essex and Herts Air Ambulance provides helicopter emergency medical services 24/7, so Santa isn’t the only one who will be flying this Christmas.
“’Lights for Flights’ is an amazing way to fundraise, and we would love to see more houses lit up in support of our charity. It couldn’t be easier to take part. All you need to do is decorate your home or workplace inside or outside with festive Christmas lights; then contact us for a festive banner and collection tin, which you can put outside your house for people to make a donation.”
Paul Howard who lives in Colchester, has been lighting up his house in aid of EHAAT for the last 10 years and overall, he has raised over £7,000.
“I started putting a few Christmas lights on my house about 20 years ago, and over the next few years, I kept adding a few more until someone eventually said to me, you have a lovely display and should start collecting for a charity.
“I am a driving instructor and at this time I only had the front of my house covered with lights, but I had a pupil that I was teaching who had just lost his father due to a car accident. The air ambulance was sent to the incident, and he told me how brilliant the team had been. That was in 2013, and it was then that l decided to collect for the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance.
“Over the years my display grew, and some people even donated their unwanted lights. My display now covers the front of my house, both sides of my driveway, and my garage roof, and I have a Santa’s Sleigh and a Polar Express train which my visitors can sit on and have their photos taken. I enjoy doing the display every year and seeing the joy it brings to so many people. This year I have added new lights, as I do each year to change the display. I’m looking forward to collecting for the air ambulance again so they can continue the great service they provide. Merry Christmas everyone and a happy New Year!”
EHAAT truly is a life-saving charity kept operational thanks to everyone who plays its lottery, donates, fundraises and volunteers. The service is provided free of charge but, unlike NHS emergency services, it receives limited direct funding from the Government and none from the National Lottery. It costs in excess of £750,000 every month to keep the service operational.
Ms Barker continued:
“In our 25th year of serving our local communities, we would like to say a big thank you to all those who have supported us this year, and we are appealing to everyone to help us in any way they can this Christmas. There are many ways you can support us. You can host festive fundraisers like mince pie mornings, Christmas jumper days, craft sales and carol singing. And up until the 18th of December, you can buy tickets for our Winter Raffle, where you could win an early Christmas present of £3,000. You can also purchase Christmas cards, branded notebooks and pens, water bottles, rucksacks and shopping bags from our online shop at ehaat.org.
“Our committed team remain dedicated, ready and able to save lives when someone is having the worst day of their life – even on Christmas Day. That’s why we need support from the people and businesses of Essex and Hertfordshire this festive season.”
EHAAT’s Festive Fundraising initiative is sponsored by FRONTLINE FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS. For a selection of other Christmas-themed fundraising ideas, and to request a free fundraising pack, please visit: www.ehaat.org/festive, or call the Fundraising Team on 0345 2417 690.