Friday, 22nd September saw Magpas Air Ambulance staff close the doors on their headquarters in Huntingdon town centre for the last time, as the charity prepares for its next chapter at Alconbury Weald.
Centenary House has been the Magpas Air Ambulance HQ for 12 years, while the Magpas Air Ambulance medical team and aviation crew operated out of RAF Wyton. However, when the charity was served notice on the building due to the sale of the land at Wyton, Magpas Air Ambulance took the opportunity to create a purpose-built airbase, headquarters and training centre.
By designing and building the premises from scratch, Magpas Air Ambulance have ensured the building works for every element of the charity, and places staff wellbeing at the forefront—with clinician rest spaces and dorms, as well as garden spaces and state-of-the-art training facilities. Bringing all staff under one roof will also significantly cut overhead costs and reduce environmental impact.
The new airbase was officially opened earlier this month by HRH The Princess Royal, and Magpas Air Ambulance’s fundraising team and support staff are moving in this week, with the clinical operations of the charity due to follow imminently.
Helping with the move, seven volunteers from The Courier Company Nationwide (TCCN) gave up their time to assist Magpas Air Ambulance move from their headquarters in Huntingdon to the new base at Alconbury Weald.
Nick Thompson, Sales Director at TCCN explained, “myself, our other directors, and several staff members were all very happy to give up our time and help a cause we will continue to support. After eight van loads—and some aching limbs—the mission was a success.
“It was a privilege to be shown around the fantastic new airbase and headquarters and now, the charity has everything it needs for the fundraising and support staff to settle in and continue to keep raising the funds they need to carry on the vital work Magpas Air Ambulance does every day.”
The Magpas Air Ambulance headquarters on Huntingdon ring road has served many purposes—alongside always housing the staff members who continue to raise the £6million the service needs to operate every year, the building has also been a charity shop, training premises and community centre for local groups and businesses to meet. Although this exciting development for the service does mean the fundraising staff aren’t quite as close for Huntingdon residents, the location and design of the new base will boost response times, and the new dedicated visitor centre will welcome all supporters in due course.
Magpas Air Ambulance CEO, Daryl Brown MBE, continues: “Although the office move does mean we won’t be as visible in the centre of town, we’re sure the people of Huntingdon and surrounding areas will still see us flying over regularly as we continue to provide our 24/7 lifesaving service. As a charity, Magpas Air Ambulance still needs donations to continue operating, saving lives and keeping families together in Cambridgeshire and beyond. We’re extremely grateful for all the support the Huntingdon community has shown us over the years. Hopefully, despite being slightly further down the road, we will continue to see support from the communities we serve and can’t wait to start welcoming people and supporters to our new home with its much-enhanced facilities very soon.”
Find out more about the new Magpas Air Ambulance premises here.