Staff donate cash to kids’ helicopter

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Staff from an Eastwood company were given a tour of a life-saving helicopter as they handed over their proceeds from a Christmas collection.

Joanne Hutsby and Anthony Topley, who are both partners of the Eastwood Funeral Partnership, met staff and fundraisers working for the Children’s Air Ambulance during a visit to East Midlands Airport to deliver a £2,200 donation to the organisation.

The money was the proceeds of the company’s Christmas appeal, where bereaved families made a donation and hung messages of remembrance to their loved ones on Christmas trees erected at the firm’s funeral homes in Nottingham Road, Eastwood, and Main Road, Kimberley.

Ms Hutsby said: “We have run our Christmas tree appeal for many years and this was the largest sum of money we have ever raised, which is without doubt a result of the respect that people have for the Children’s Air Ambulance Service.

“It was wonderful to meet the crew and staff and find out how they play such a vital role in saving lives.”

The money will be used to fund the running costs of the charity’s Agusta 109 Grand helicopter, which is used to transfer poorly newborns across England to hospitals offering specialist paediatric care.

Launched in 2012, the service is the only one of its type in the country and because of the speed it delivers its tiny patients – four times quicker than if they are transferred by road – it can mean the difference between life and death.

The charity is part of the Air Ambulance Service, which also operates two other helicopters, based at East Midlands Airport and Coventry Airport and operating across Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland, as well as Warwickshire and Northamptonshire.