Posted on 7 March 2012
Bryn Terfel and Welsh paralympic racing cyclist Simon Richardson with the Wales Air Ambulance’s Mid Wales based crew.
International Welsh opera star Bryn Terfel returned to Gregynog Hall on Wednesday to launch a ‘Leap into Action’ fundraising appeal to upgrade Wales Air Ambulance’s third helicopter based in Mid Wales.
The conference and event venue, run by the University of Wales, basked in unseasonably warm weather as all three Wales Air Ambulances flew in for the event, attended by invited guests and more than 200 primary school children.
The current Bolkow helicopter based in Mid Wales, which is 20 years old, is due to be decommissioned by the Civil Aviation Authority.
The charity needs to raise an additional £600,000 each year to upgrade and maintain the lease of a ‘new generation’ EC 135 aircraft – an advanced air ambulance with the latest medical facilities and aviation technology.
Maintaining the upgrade will create an annual fundraising target of £6 million for the lifesaving charity, which will keep all three helicopters flying over Wales.
Wales Air Ambulance – 11 years old on March 1 - launched its campaign on Leap Day, February 29, appealing to supporters to act now to safeguard the charity’s Mid Wales operation. ‘Leap into Action’ asked the people of Wales to help in the fundraising drive, through text donations and organising their own events.
The charity’s patron, Bryn Terfel, has dedicated a single “I will send an angel” to the “wonderful charity” and urged the public to help in way they can to fund its lifesaving work. Having sung twice at Gregynog Hall’s music festival, he said:
“I was incredibly happy when Wales Air Ambulance said they were going to hold the launch here.
“It’s a stunning, historical building in such wonderful countryside, especially on a day like this when the sun is shining.”
Karen Armstrong, Gregynog Hall director, said she was delighted to host such an important national event and pledged to support the charity in any way she could:
“It was fantastic to have the three air ambulances, invited guests from across Wales and the local schoolchildren at Gregynog on such a lovely afternoon,” she added.
Anyone wishing to support the appeal, can text LEAP43 to 70070 to make a donation for the three helicopters today. For more information visit www.walesairambulance.com or call 0844 85 84 999.