Tricia and staff were delighted to hand over their cheque at the Air Angels Ball at the Hilton, Newcastle Gateshead on Saturday 15th June. This fantastic amount was raised over preceding months through a variety of events, which culminated in our Hadrian’s Wall Walk to which people are still kindly donating, so there will be more to send to GNAAS.
We enjoyed a glass of fizz on arrival and were entertained by a magician and guitarist before being taken into the stunning ballroom at the Hilton. Our hostess for the evening was charity patron, Pam Royle, who kept the evening running smoothly.
GNAAS chief executive, Grahame Pickering, gave us an update on the work of the service, which is recognised throughout the world for its expertise and is indeed used as a template for other such services. GNAAS has offered training to crews from many far flung countries such as Australia, Africa and Canada in the last year alone.
We were shown a short film of roadside life-saving open heart surgery being performed by a team, (gory bits blanked out!) which included an interview with the pilot who not only flew the helicopter, but assisted with this procedure - unique in being the first such operation to be carried out away from a hospital theatre environment, and captured on film. This film is now being used for training purposes.
After an excellent three course dinner the charity auction took place – this included a unique VIP “Vera” package – starring as an extra in the popular TV drama series, with a behind-the-scenes tour and the gift of one of Vera’s iconic hats; a Kielder spa break which included an exclusive tour under the Dam, not available to the public; a surf lesson; 30-minute Pleasure Flight – successfully bid for by Claire, to her family’s excitement; a guided weekend cycling break; and a holiday in Gin Gang Cottage, donated by Tricia. Just short of £5,000 was raised by these pledges.
A fantastic raffle was available throughout the evening, with several of our staff taking home prizes and the evening concluded with dancing to an excellent live band and disco until the early hours. A magnificent total of £22,823.25 was raised on the night.