For the October meeting we had Penny Weir from the Great Western Air Ambulance service give a very informative and interesting talk. She explained a little of the history, including how the civilian air ambulances were developed from military evacuation helicopters. She also gave a breakdown of the running costs (currently around £1.2 million pounds a year) and how they raise the cash, it was interesting to hear that they receive no government help and are not eligible for National Lottery grants either.
We also heard about the Great Western Air Ambulance set up, including the fact that it is only one of four air ambulance services in the country that carries a doctor on every call out, as well as a highly qualified Paramedic, the doctors giving their time free of charge. The talk was very well received and I think all present were amazed at some of the facts given. A donation tin was present (organised by the Group Chairperson) which raised £32.00 for the air ambulance, so well done to all those who contributed.
Visit their website for more info on the Great Western Air Ambulance
Next month we have a talk on The History of Gloucestershire given by Steve Blake.